Encouraging Literacy in the Home

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About writing, I believe William Wordsworth said it best:

"Fill the paper with the breathings of your heart."

Let me ask you a question--when was the last time you wrote a letter?  Received a letter?

No, not an email...

An old-fashioned, hold-in-your-hand, sniff-the-fibers-of-the-paper, actual letter!

In a world where text messages and email are the primary source of contact, we can still find and instill the value of handwritten letters to our children.  

I'm not saying to boycott emails and texts.  This is the world we live in!  We have to conform to the present a bit or we will be left in the dust.  What I am suggesting, however, is rekindling the magic of written communication.

I admit, I still feel like a kid when I go to the mailbox.  My heart will flutter a bit when I see a hand addressed letter for me.  And, yes, it will sink just a tad when I see only bills.  

My former college roommate still writes me long, personal letters.  I really cherish them.  They tell me about her day caring for her little girl, how they have witnessed 3 lambs born this day, how the farmhouse floor needs repairing, how the library will receive a visit from them in a few.  It'll go on to say that she thought of me when such and such happened and how she cherishes the fact that we met so many years ago.


A glimpse.

Breathings from the heart.

I usually tuck the letters away in a special box in my closet.  Sure, I can put emails in a nice little virtual folder and print them out as many times as needed, but a personal letter?  

A personal letter is nothing less than a piece of artwork, sketched by an artist.  

I believe we are all artists, with creative minds uniquely our own.  

The written word can be scrawled.  The written word can "paint" a picture in our minds and hearts the same way a painter's brushstrokes speak volumes to our eyes--and we have allowed this mind-art to survive on parchment.

So...who are you going to write today?


Tips for children:

Follow this friendly letter template here.
Write to a grandparent or family friend about what you are learning about in school.
Learn how to address the letter on your own.

Tips for parents:

Devote a drawer or other convenient space in your home (an old mailbox, perhaps!) just for letter-writing supplies:
paper, pens and pencils, stamps, address labels, etc.  
Provide templates for your children to ensure they are formatting their letters and addresses the correct way.