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Filtering by Category: Parent Corner

Tips for Keeping Your Child’s Writing Sharp This Summer

Stacy Rosenblum

Here we are again—the happy, hot days of summer.  Each day seems to get longer, yet the weeks fly by, and before we know it, school will be back in session.  So, how to make the most of all this time?  Glad you asked!  We’ve got some tips to embed writing practice into your child’s summer plans, painlessly and with minimal effort.

1. Rediscover the postcard.

Postcards have very limited space in which to write, so by nature, they are a quick and easy writing project.  And who doesn’t love to receive a postcard?  Encourage your kids to collect postcards from your summer travels and adventures, then address and write a few sentences to a relative or friend.  Don’t forget to ask that person to write back!

2. Photo Journals

Creating a photojournal of summer adventures is a fun and engaging way to keep your kids writing this summer.  Give your child a camera (or smartphone) to document any summer event in which they participate.  Then upload the photos to any of a number of web tools to create a photo journal—either online or in print.  I like Google Slides as an easy and cost free option, but if you want to take this project to the print level, there are many sites on which to do so: Blurb, Shutterfly, Mixbook, Snapfish, etc.

3. #TBT: Go to the library!

There is no activity that gets my own kids reading more easily than visiting our local public library.  This suggestion may seem a little “throwback,” but just being in the presence of so many books motivates kids and adults to read.  Your child can explore a personal interest, discover something new, and as the librarian for suggestions.  Furthermore, public libraries are most often air conditioned, which make them a lovely place to spend a sweltering afternoon!

4. Make a list.

The humble act of writing a list is a totally underrated, yet wonderful writing activity.  When my children whine to me that they are bored, the first thing I ask them to do is make a list of all the activities that they could be doing at that moment, as well as all of the things they wish they could do.  Lists are boundless—make a list of absolutely anything you can think of!  Lists are also great starting points for longer pieces of writing, as they help kids to generate ideas on a single topic.  Making lists is great practice for taking notes and organizing ideas in school.

5.  Write a collaborative story.

Get everyone in on the action!  Begin a family story that each member gets to contribute to.  One person gets to write the first few sentences, and set the stage.  Then the next person chimes in, introduces a new character or event, then the next person writes more, changing the story and adding plot twists and turns.  This is a great activity in so many ways.  It uses adult modeling of writing for kids, demands great creativity, and is highly engaging for kids.  We write a collaborative story every summer in my house and this year’s has been going on for about 3 weeks!  There are dragons, aliens, princesses and lots of action.  We leave it on the kitchen counter and whoever gets home from camp or work first gets to add their ideas.  See what comes from your family’s collaborative story and don’t forget to put it away as a great keepsake when the story is complete.

So there you go—5 ways to keep your kids practicing their writing this summer that they will not only be willing to do, but will enjoy!  Have a great summer!

Writing Workshop Webinar

Stacy Rosenblum


Check out our newest webinar—MyloWrites Writing Workshop! We got two of our team members—Whitney Black and Stacy Rosenblum—together to talk about the writing process and the most common pitfalls that students succumb to. This conversation breaks down the stages: getting started, staying organized, and crossing the finish line. We present solutions to help students successfully execute each step of their writing assignments. Whether your student cringes upon the announcement of an assignment, comes to class with an exploding backpack, or rushes to hand in an unfinished product, you will find useful strategies in this informative webinar. At MyloWrites we are all about building independence in students, so let us help you help your students!

My Summer of Executive Functioning

Whitney Glockner Black

Summer is upon us, and the first thing that you and your kids are thinking about is how to further develop executive function while school is out, right? It’s actually easier than you think. The summer is a great opportunity to show your kids that projects and difficult challenges are not just for the school year. Here are a few (truly) fun ways to keep you and your kids sharp over the dog days ahead.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Many of us parents arrange summer activities for our children without much thought to how instructive it can be for our children to make their own plans. I do this all the time, my child tells me what they’d like to do, and I send the texts, arrange the timing, figure out the transportation, check the weather, and then let them know what Concierge Mom has accomplished. This is a perfect example of a multi-step process with lots of variables and dependencies and the perfect opportunity for your child to learn to do this for his or herself. Even if your child is not yet able to fully plan, involve her in the planning process. Tell him the steps you take, the dependencies and variables you weigh, and ask him to reason with you to find the best plan.  Not only does the child appreciate the control over their schedule, but they also get to experience what it means to research, plan, and execute a plan—even if it’s just a playdate or a trip to the movies. This teaches kids to plan their own time, a vital skill for being an adult.

Take Me Out to the Ballpark

We, and our kids, rarely record statistics by hand anymore. And yet, the act of recording statistics takes concentration, quick thinking, good listening, and faithful recording of facts. These, it turns out, are also vital skills to have as an adult. If you like a baseball game in the long days of summer, try recording the stats on your favorite team. Get yourself one of the old school paper and pencil baseball score cards and teach your child how to record the big leagues, or the little leagues. This helps teach kids to monitor progress, take adequate notes, and remain focused on repetitive tasks.

Build Something

One of the most important aspects of executive function is the ability to break down a complex problem into smaller tasks. Another is to overcome feeling overwhelmed by a difficult task, and taking action. My oldest child has a tendency to throw his hands up in the air and say (literally) “Oh, I just cannot do this. This is so hard. Why is this so hard!!?” We have all wanted to do that as recently as today, but it’s just not an adult thing to do. So, put some really fun challenges together with your child. Build a cake in a fanciful shape and decorate it. Make a robot, construct a dog house, or try the old lemonade stand project. All are excellent for distracting kids for long periods of time, just be ready to jump in and facilitate when needed.

One of my favorite sites for activities these days is It’s got spectacular projects for kids as young as one all the way up to adults.

Have a great summer, and remember to write!