LJWorld.com weblogs Linda's Backroad Musings
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.
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.