Relationship Between Online Journals And Writing
When a student says that he or she “doesn’t like writing,” there may be many reasons why. Very few students actually “hate” writing, which may be divided into fiction, nonfiction, and even the general act of putting pen to paper.
Some students have certain learning disabilities that make writing nearly impossible without a lot of stress involved. Others have received poor feedback over the years and not encouragement. Others still have a hard time coming up with ideas, have a limited vocabulary, and struggle to find their voices, especially if they constantly compare themselves to other writers.
For students of all ages who have difficult writing, we recommend keeping online journals. Today we’re going to take a look at how online journals can help build reading, writing, and communication skills in today’s youth… and even older generations looking for a reason to get back into writing.
Wait, Are Online Journals Safe?
If the student in question is quite young, then it’s safe to assume that as a parent you may be wondering if it’s safe to keep online journals. Indeed, we do recommend that children keeping “blogs” do so in safe environments. This means keeping their journals “locked” to only themselves or limited, trusted people such as friends and family.
You should also always keep an eye on your child’s online activities as well, if only to make sure they have practicing good safety when it comes to strangers online. Never, ever let your child give out personal information that may be identifying, such as their real name, phone number, address, or school. You can have fun with your child by getting creative and making up a new online handle for them to go by in order to keep them safe.
Blogging As A Means To Express Oneself
Sometimes the biggest barrier between a student and writing is good subject manner. No matter how talented or how much potential a student has, if he or she doesn’t know what to write about, then something may never get written. Such students also do not respond well to “prompts” as it makes them feel even more limited in expression.
This is why we encourage starting things simply. Have your child start by describing his day. What did he eat for breakfast? What did he and his friends talk about at recess? Did anything good happen today? Bad? This will get the child in the writing mood and get the basics down quickly.
Once your child is comfortable talking about his day, ask him get more personal. Do not simply describe events, but give opinions on them as well. This is where your child’s natural voice will start to come out and mature in his writing. When he makes this connection, he will probably become very excited and more eager to talk about his day.
Improving Communication Skills
Part of the reason it’s so vital that young students become good writers is that it helps them communicate well in other facets of life. They become better speakers, orators, and even just average people who get their point across well. Online journals are a great means to improving communication skills.
The more your child practices good writing and reading skills, the more likely she is to express herself well in everyday life. You may see her go from becoming frustrated when trying to tell you something, to saying it easily now that she has the vocabulary and other communication skills necessary to get her point across. Such students improve not only academically but personally as well. They will have easier relationships with friends and teachers alike.
Opening One’s Mind To The World At Large
So why online journals? What is the added benefit to having an online blog as opposed to having a spiral-bound notebook or diary? While pen and paper methods are great ways to improve such skills (and penmanship) as well, the best benefit of having a blog online is getting to meet kids from around the world.
This is especially important if you live in a rural area or other place that does not get many visitors from outside of your culture. It’s very important that young children especially become acclimated with people form all over the world, whether they be a different race, follow a different religion, or speak a whole new language! The more a child is exposed to other kids from around the world, the more likely he is to grow into a stronger, more empathetic person.
Online journals are also a great way to start learning other languages, and to help other students practice English. Getting a pen-pal is usually an outcome of blogging online.
Having your student keep a blog is a great way to improve his or her communication and writing skills. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even make a career out of it one day.