At the St. Louis Big Read celebration earlier this month, I discovered a unique book that encourages parents and children to write together. Family Writes: Parenting with Pens, Pencils, and PCs is written by clinical psychologist Joel Epstein and his educator mother Peggy Epstein. They provide 77 activities that parents and children can do together that will encourage writing for fun as well as help discover the value of writing. These activities for elementary and middle-school age children include writing shopping lists and menus, creating sports journals and family newsletters, journaling together, special activities for some of the holidays, plus a section on the lost art of thank-you notes.
The familywrites.com website states “Through writing, everyone in the family learns how to express their feelings to one another, resolve conflicts more easily, grow closer as a family, and get to know each other better. Better yet, families share time together and create lasting memories.”
If you think about it, writing is one of those life skills that is incredibly valuable, from writing letters and thank-you notes to resumes and presentations. The Orlando Sentinel recently stated that according to a recent nationwide survey of human-resource officers, nearly three-quarters said that recently hired high-school grads were deficient in basic writing skills. Like it or not, your writing skills tell others about you as a person – suggesting how educated you might be, how organized you are in your thinking, your attention to detail, how thoughtful you are. What better way to grow your children than to prepare them in a fun way to be better equipped to communicate and also to learn about themselves, their parents, and life. You may even learn a thing or two!