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Creative and Fun Way To Get Kids To Write Long Hand

Updated on July 29, 2013
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Creative & Fun Way to Get Kids To Write Long Hand

When I was a freshmen in high school I had to write to a pen pal as an assignment. I thought yuk this is so geeky. I got the address to send a request for a pen pal from Pen Pals around the world.

Now I didn't care what country or what gender my pen pal came from or was. I just wanted to get this assignment out of the way. Only needed to write a few letters to whomever this pen pal was going to be.

So a few weeks after I sent my request off by snail mail I got the address of my pen pal. He was from Sweden. His name Mikael and he seemed kinda normal. Liked music and hanging with friends blah, blah, blah.

So I sent off my first letter to this Mikael. Sent information that I liked music and hanging with my friends also. I mentioned I liked American history, horses (remember I was a teenager) ok I still like horses, scuba diving and anything to do with Miami Vice. Yes I just majorly dated myself and no I don't really care for Miami Vice anymore. Dropped the letter in the mail for Sweden and waited.

A few weeks letter I got my first letter. That was 27 years ago and about ever third week I get a letter from Mikael in the mailbox. Mikael turned out to be one of my best friends. Not bad for a school assignment I wanted nothing to do with.

We have at this point talked on the phone several times. We have given each other advise and guidance. Gone through hard times and good times all through the power of the pen. We do of course at this point talk through email a few times a week and we text. But we will never give up our letters. I still get happy to see that letter from Sweden in the mailbox.

When I got married thirteen years ago Mikael and his wife came to the wedding. That was the first time we met in person. It was exciting going to the airport, picking Mikael and his wife up. We had a wonderful time that week before the wedding. Noting that we each spoke the same way we pen our words. When my new husband Michael and I took off for our honeymoon, Mikael and his wife stayed at our new apartment. My family spent time with them and they got to of course explore on their own.

It was lovely having Mikael and his wife here. It was his first time in America, and it was a delight to get and show them a small piece of our amazing country. Grand fun showing him places I had written to him about. At this time I still have not made the trip to Sweden but hopefully some day Michael and I will.

I get that Mikael and I are lucky we hit it off so well. In this age of text and email I believe this is a wonderful way for kids to learn how to write long hand. I know teenagers that have a difficult time reading cursive. To my horror also don't know how to tell time off an analog clock. At least my son can tell time from an analog clock and getting up to speed on reading cursive.

This is also a fantastic way for kids to learn about other cultures and how they spend their time. Nice way also to get in touch with other kids in America to see how other kids spend their time from coast to coast.

I have used this for a teaching tool with my son. To help him learn how to form ideas and be able to organize them to make sense and have flow. Also correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. Another benefit is teaching him that there is a class behind sending a handwritten note, that you took the time to sit and write by hand a letter, note or thank you note. Great way to teach him manners and that yes taking just a little bit of time to say thank you in writing goes a long way in showing someone you care.

Hopefully my son will find an amazing friend, as I did through the power of the pen. Of course there is also that magical anticipation of getting something in the mail that is for you and not your parents. My son from time to time writes to my pen pals two sons. His kids are a bit older but they enjoy writing back to my son. It is a good way for them to practice English and pass on some Swedish. My son is always thrilled to get that letter just for him from Sweden.


Here are a few tips to help your kids find a pen pal suited to them.


* Do they want a pen pal from America or another country. Maybe you have family in another country or state. If yes that would be a great source for your child to get a pen pal, with the added benefit of keeping in touch with family.

* Have them list their interests, hobbies, sports and activities they enjoy.

* What they like for subjects and or activities at school.

* What type of music do they enjoy, do they play an instrument.

* What types of books and magazines do they read. Even include what they enjoy to watch on television.

* Are they interested in writing to a boy or girl.

* Be sure to have an appropriate age group listed for your kids.


Here is a site you can check out to help your kids find a pen pal.

* students of the world pen pals .... there is an option on this website for email or snail mail

* Also check with the schools, they may have resources to help you in finding an appropriate pen pal for your kids.


Thanks for reading,

Alison Ruth

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Writing books for children

Kids educationally books 

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