Laura B. Herakovich takes great pride in sharing great finds, and sheʼs a pretty darn good treasure hunter (that crazy pirate stage her sons went through sort of stuck with her). In this first (of what will hopefully become a regular) column, she shares with you, Gentle Reader, what she considers a must-have for Mamas raising writers. And letʼs face it: we all have to write. Or at least we all should write.
The English major in me wants to weep at the recent trend towards not teaching proper script handwriting. I know, I know; the computer is making handwriting obsolete, and the advent of the text message has gone even further in the brutal evisceration of our poor Mother Tongue. But just because thatʼs the way the world is going doesnʼt make it right (or write…har har).
One has to write to write. Got that? Just like anything, practice makes writing — both the art of handwriting as well as the art of verbal creativity–flow easier. That makes sense. But convincing young boys of this is tougher, regardless of how many sporting analogies one makes. There are about a gazillion things elementary school aged young men (and ladies) would rather do on any given day than sit down and put pen to paper.
Until now–in our house, at least. Last week, I stumbled upon a fantastic journal geared entirely towards kids and quickly snapped up 2 copies. Betsy Francoʼs recent publication, Q&A a Day for Kids, is fabulous and features writing prompts for every day of the year. These prompts are brief, kid-centric questions, and there are a mere 5 lines dedicated to each answer for each year.
Each year? Oh, yes. The journal is a 3-year journal, which makes it even more appetizing to youngsters when you put a mighty spin on the “time capsule” element.
I bought the books last Wednesday and have not had to remind my boys to write in their journals since presenting them–along with the writing pep rally–last Wednesday night. Cross my heart. My 2 older sons each retreat to their rooms post-shower and huddle over the book, pencil in hand. I have an 8.5 year old and a 6 year old who canʼt wait to unearth the dayʼs question and–oh, glory be!–sit down to write. The journal is that cool. It. Is. Amazing.
And did I mention the book itself is also gorgeous? It has a butcher-paper-esque cover and sturdy, thick pages perfect for withstanding many erasures over the years. I knew from the moment I touched its cover that it was going home with me. We bibliophiles are like that.
So hereʼs your first Tuesday Treat, a unique, hot-off-the-presses little helper to help draw out the creative side of any child. I adore this childrenʼs journal, even if your child isnʼt old enough to write just yet. In fact, I am running out to fetch another copy today, and my youngest son and I plan to work on it collaboratively. One day soon–too soon–he will be old enough to write in it himself and yet another bridge will be crossed.
At least with this journal, weʼll have records of the skipping-stones tossed along the way.