My 63 years of age have taught me that life moves fast! Moments come and go in a flash and so often we are so consumed with what just happened, or, what will happen, that we don’t experience the now. After the fact, we reflect in earnest trying to retrieve memories and they are packed away, lost in the abyss. Writing is a way of keeping the details at the forefront.
Parents and grandparents, it may seem like everyone are too busy to journal the current family Christmas preparation and events, however, I assure you taking the time to scribe events will bring joy to the clan when there is time to reflect. Parents, if you don’t presently keep a daily journal then I suggest you might consider keeping a holiday journal. Grandparents, you may have more time than many of the family members, as such a role you might like to take on is that of family holiday memory keeper. In years to come, I guarantee that it will be appreciated. Here is a great gift idea for those who need support and an excuse to tell their story.
Children in our families can be encouraged and supported in sharing their stories and reflections. Most children find it overwhelming to put their thoughts in print. This is no surprise as many adults with proficient language skills also find it difficult. How can we support, encourage and help develop the literacy skill of telling a story?
1). First, show an interest in hearing kids’ stories and reflections. Ask questions. Get them talking about the details of events and their feelings. Nudge their creative side by asking open-ended what-ifs or creative story starters. Even chat with them about how an event could have turned out different; better or worse.
2). Suggest that they might want to tell their story by drawing pictures. Once they complete the drawing(s) you could scribe the details underneath.
3). Alternatively sit at the computer and take dictation for your young author. Here are some tips in a previous blog:
4). Save these stories digitally. These can subsequently be imported into a photobook and printed at places such as Costco. This celebrates the value of sharing stories and embraces the storytelling accomplishment of the author, developing confidence and pride.
Remember writing a story draws upon all the organizational, detail, vocabulary and sentence structure elements of literacy, AND reading back the story gets your child to practice their decoding and comprehension skills with their own work. Our culture and history are built on stories. Our family tribes celebrate our stories. Let’s capture these holiday memories in print before they are lost and never found.
Quick Take Away Links
A very cool example of a child’s storybook:
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