Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Top 5 Reasons to Have a Pen Pal This Summer

Summer is a great opportunity to try new things! Having a pen pal is a fantastic way for your child to make a new friend or deepen a friendship, but did you know that pen pal writing also has several academic benefits?

Here are the Top 5 Reasons to Have a Pen Pal This Summer:

1. A pen pal relationship allows your child to exercise creativity. 

Creativity is an integral part of each child's learning process and growth. When writing to a pen pal, your child will need to think of new ways to introduce themselves, the events in their lives, and their feelings in each letter. Learning to describe the world around them in vivid detail will make them better writers and will encourage pay more attention to detail.

2. A pen pal relationship gives your child a chance to practice core reading and writing skills.  

There are so many key reading and writing skills found in pen pal writing! Your child will practice handwriting, a lost art in our technological society. At SpiderSmart, we highly recommend practicing cursive letter writing because it improves spelling and stimulates brain development in the areas of thinking, language, and working memory in ways that typing and printing cannot. Another skill your child will implement when having a pen pal is learning how to tell their personal story. Pen pal letters combine facts with feelings to create interesting and engaging literary experiences for children.

3. A pen pal relationship develops your child's cultural awareness.  

Get to know someone outside of your neighborhood, your city, your state, or even your country. It's like traveling around the world without ever leaving your own home! Learning about different holidays, social customs, and families will broaden your child's scope of the world and encourage them to be more tolerant, accepting, and curious about the world.

4. A pen pal relationship encourages your child's critical thinking.  

Kids aren't always dazzling conversationalists. Many times they ask and answer questions with a single word, and hardly any detail or thought is involved. However, through writing with a pen pal, kids learn that they must ask open-ended questions in order to get a thorough response that will be fun and satisfying to read. As they learn more about the world their pen pal lives in, they'll yearn for sensory details and they'll ask questions that ensure their delivery.

5. A pen pal relationship gives your child fun learning experiences throughout the summer.  

The mail is often filled with so much junk that getting a hand-addressed envelope will feel like a special treat! Your child will look forward to receiving and reading these letters, and will also be eager to respond. Letter writing is a way to practice fundamental skills without the feeling of being bogged down with assignments and homework. High interest means high motivation!

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