A happy heart makes the face cheerful...Proverbs 15:13

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Benefits of Penpals

Since we started homeschooling, I have been on the search for a legit penpal service for my children. I had failed to find one that didn't allow grown men overseas to be penpals with 9 year old children. Inappropriate!!
Recently, I have viewed many question on different blogs and facebook pages about moms trying to find penpals for their children. After noticing the need, I decided to start a homeschooling penpal facebook page. In less than a week we attracted 30 members to the page. Why is penpalling so appealing?
There are many benefits for a child who has a penpal(s).
1. Its allows for the good ole practice of putting pen to paper:
     With technology being the present and future of all communication, it is important that our children can learn the importance of old fashion writing.Many states are completely removing cursive from the public school curriculum. Having a penpal will offer them the chance to have a passion for 'pen to paper' writing as well as learning the continued practice of cursive . It simply encourages writing skills in a fun way! Many children are beginning to use abbreviated computer talk writing. Long-handed letter writing will also offer lessons in proper grammar.

2. It allows for your child to get to know another child, from another city or country, who may or may not share any interest with them.
        For some children, who may be shy, this is a great way to get them to open up on a personal level. Telling someone about yourself and learning about them in return offers your child a curiosity for people. As they get older they will be more willing to talk to people and find out more about them.
It also gives them a glance into another location in the world and the hardships of that area. It can also give them insight into other cultures. Hearing those experience first hand will be a learning experience that you just cannot get from reading in a textbook! This also helps if you have a child who feels like there is no one else like them. Finding other kids who have the same interest or schooling will give your child more self confidence!

3.Encourages learning another language.
         Whether your penpal is stateside or from another country, there is a great opportunity for language lessons. Your child could become a mini-teacher. Encouraging another child in learning English. In return they can also learn the language of their penpal. Again, this is something that will encourage them as adults to go beyond the language barriers and talk to someone they don't know. There are people every where in this world who have not yet heard the name Jesus. Encouraging our children to reach beyond the language barriers could be a major change in someones life!

4. Its a great family activity.
          This is something we all can do together. We often sit at the dining room table and discuss what we want to know about our penpals this time or what happened in our lives this week that we would like to share as we are writing. We also can share our letters with each other. In most cases, my intention is to have a penpal for the kids only to find out that the other moms involved are great pals as well.

Boys aren't always enthralled with writing to others. In their young age, its a fun experience. My hope is that they find connections and have learning experience that will encourage them continue in this penpalling activity!

What benefit do you find the most important when it comes to having a penpal for your child?

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