I’m not sure how many of you live apart from Grandparents and other relatives, but our closest relatives are 2 hours away. We don’t get the chance to see family every day, every week, or even every month. So one of my kids favorite things to do (besides color pictures and mail them) is to sit down at the computer and send them an email. Last week when Daddy was gone on his trip, they got a chance to email him too.
How is this educational? They are familiarizing themselves with the computer keyboard. Because they haven’t yet memorized where each letter is, they have to “hunt and peck” to find the next letter. Eventually they start to remember, “Oh yeah, letter E was top left.” It is beginning preparation for learning to type.
Also, I have found that it is good spelling and punctuation practice. I won’t allow them to send an email that I haven’t checked for errors. Once they are finished typing their message, I’ll read over and point out the words that are spelled incorrectly, or need a capital letter, and have them fix the errors.
I will open up gmail, insert the email address, and type “From Clare” in the subject line so the recipient knows right away that it is from the kids. Then I will leave them to type their email. When they are finished, or when I determine they have had enough time, I return to check it over before sending it. When they girls were a little younger, I always clicked the send button myself, but last time I allowed Miranda to do it while I was standing there. It takes them a long time just to type a few sentences, so the emails are never long. Just a short, fun note to say hi to family.
And you should see the smiles on their faces when the recipient emails them back! They usually ask me to read it to them several times in a row so they can digest it all. Even though they talk to them regularly on the phone, getting that “letter” electronically is just something special.
Do your kids email yet?