LJWorld.com weblogs Linda's Backroad Musings

I'm Bored...

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School starts in how many days!? Depending on emphasis on words, parent or child could make this statement.

Summer is winding down. Swimming is boring, ball games are over and vacation pictures are in the camera.

Looking for a new idea to occupy my seven and ten year old grand boys, we decided to start blogs.

Any online project involving children must include addressing privacy. Parents should make that decision for their children. After talking to the parents, here is how I addressed it. Google’s Blogger is a free and simple blog format. It allows a blog to be private with only those with the internet address to view. Another suggestion is to have all the information involving the blogs in an adult name.

Now for the fun part, setting up the blog.

We spent time laughing about names for the blogs. Try to have three or four possibilities before starting the program in case one of the names is already in use. Next, pick a template. There are free children’s templates online, but it is easy to use one provided by Blogger. Most of the blog templates have a place for an icon. If you are good at it, there are programs available to cartoonize pictures. This is fun for kids. However, it might be best to keep it simple at first and add extras later.

Now it is time to post. Getting started is the hardest. I suggest pretending their parents are walking in the door. Then write down what they would tell them about their day or something they observed. That seems to work. Have them write with a pencil and paper and then type. I did not correct spelling, but let them use a program that showed misspelled words. Probably, I should make them look the word up in a dictionary, but I let them auto correct. Now, copy and paste onto the program.

Click “Publish.”

In fact, that is what their little blog is, their own newspaper. We take pictures and write a story. I’ve tried to get them to draw and scan an artistic endeavor, but so far no luck. We did make a little movie for each. That took three days and ended up being a source of great pride. I did have to remind myself several times that this is their creation and not put my ideas into it.

With summer vacation winding down, perhaps this suggestion will fill time with fun and a creative warm-up for school. So far, it has worked for us.

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

What a great idea! I am going to tell my daughter as her son might like to do this. As you write, it is hard, so hard, not to give ideas. Funny how something you hate in someone else can be so good when you do it. As I am bored, I shall write a blog.

Alia Ahmed 5 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, Linda, for this information. Your grandchildren are lucky to have such an involved grandmother in their lives. And I'm sure you feel just as blessed to have them so close geographically and close to your heart.

David Lignell 5 years, 10 months ago

The blog is a wonderful idea, Linda! You've taught your grand boys how to add to their choices by looking at inward, creative resources. And by looking inwardly, they are assured of a richness that will always be there for them. That's something that will last a lifetime for them. What a great granny you are :-)

Linda Hanney 5 years, 10 months ago

Irish, Alia and Dave--Thank you so for your nice comments. This morning our goal was to put up a post on their blogs. Then they had another idea. I'm trying to make this a fun project, so we went fishing instead of writing. It was a beautiful day.

jaywalker 5 years, 10 months ago

Kudos, Linda!!! Start them writing and I'll bet it increases private reading (nudge them there, too, if you can!) and you'll have prompted their imaginations, intelligence, and creativity for the rest of their lives. From my experience, getting into reading and writing at a young age made all the difference. Might I suggest for the future to treat books like special gifts (which I feel they are). Take 'em to B and N but tell 'em they can only get one or two, for example, "so choose wisely". Little is more valuable to the young than that which we put a quota on. Gonna share this blog with some friends. Thanks for the idea.

RoeDapple 5 years, 10 months ago

Linda, I have found blogging as well as posting to the blogs of others to be helpful with my writing and communication skills. I believe tolerance and understanding of the opinions of others to be another benefit. Improving my ability to use the computer, bouncing my opinions and ideas off people who agree or do not agree with me, learning to edit or delete posts that could come back to haunt me. I'm sure these young men will be showing up on this and other sites in the not too distant future, putting us all to shame with their wit and wisdom. Good blog! I'm sure you and the boys are having a great time with it.

Roe

(and thank goodness for spellcheck and google!)

Linda Hanney 5 years, 10 months ago

jaywalker, thank you for the reminder. A book should always be one gift given at special occasions. Classics are always good, but this summer. I've found librarians have good suggestions as to what is popular with age groups. Roe, writing publicly has been a challenge for me also. Whether a blog or comment I still have to compose in Word. I admire writers where it all comes naturally. I have found the young boys have a natural gift to get to the point--I know I tend to be too wordy, so I am learning from them.

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