A guest blog post from Anik Therrien

About the guest blog writer

My name is Anik Therrien and I have been teaching in Ontario since September 2010. I have had the opportunity to teach at primary level, such as grade one and three for the first few years of my career. I have also had the pleasure teaching at intermediate level, such as grade four. My qualifications allowed me to become a ressource teacher for two years. In this role, I assisted teachers from kindergarten to grade six and provided additional one on one support with innovative teaching practices in literacy and numeracy within their classroom. As a hobby, I like to read and write. In my opinion, there is so much going on around us that it is important to slow down. Immerge yourself in a book or better yet, let your imagination shine through by creating a story yourself! Teaching is my passion. There is no greater gift then to witness little minds at work no matter the workload or responsibilities that I have during the school day. It is such a blessing to be an educator!

Kids can journal?

Today’s society offers humanity the opportunity to experience love, joy, pleasure as well as fear, sadness and stress. The whirlwind of emotions one can feel throughout a day can surprise us all. Many adults have found that journaling can help them navigate through life from a different perspective in order to help find some peace. Journaling is an outlet for many of us. Does it have the same impact for kids?

To this, I answer, ABSOLUTELY! Like adults, children can be outspoken or shy, anxious, opinionated and the list goes on. Encouraging your child to journal everyday doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, it can be fun and most importantly painless. Yes! You read correctly!

As an educator, I strongly encourage your child to write 365 days a year and the end results will be as rewarding for you, the parent, as it will be for your young one. To start off, explain to your child what is behind journaling. Your child can write about ANYTHING! Do they like to tell jokes? Ask them to write a few down. Is your child into sports? Encourage them to write about a game they played or some drills they just endured during practice. Some kids will enjoy writing lyrics, poems or short stories. Others will want to create plays or jot some ideas they have about a new game they would like to create. The possibilities are endless!

Now for the fun part! Bring your child shopping and let them pick out their journal. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. I often purchase my journals at a Dollar Store. The fact that your child will have a choice and can pick any journal that appeals to them visually will make it exciting. Why not grab one for yourself? Children like to see that mom and dad are also partaking in the experience.

Once home, make it a family event. Sit around the kitchen table and start writing! It’s important to remember that at first, your child will only be writing for 2 to 3 minutes. No need to get discouraged. With time, those 2 to 3 minutes can become 5 to 10 minutes. Remember, it does not have to be longer then that! If it is longer then 10 minutes, then by all means, I encourage you to celebrate later in the day by having a dance party…or simply give yourself a pat on the back!

There are so many benefits from writing. Your child will not only be creating, he or she will learn to self reflect, problem solve, improve his or her fine motor skills and discover the art of self expression. I will give you an exemple. Say your child wants to write a song. They will need to think of a title, create lyrics and find a melody. In order to do this, your child will have to self reflect on their interest to find something to write about. They might have difficulty finding words that rhyme, therefore they will need to choose other words to be replaced in their verse (problem solving). What better way to self express yourself through a song created by the one and only YOU?

Without noticing, writing allows kids to set goals for themselves. They will be creating, relieving stress and having fun. They will be improving their emotional intelligence and their communication skills. They might even add drawings to enhance their words! Encourage them with whatever their creative minds allow them to do. Who knows, they might want to get mom and dad to record their work (i.e. song, poems, short stories)  and beg for it to be sent to grandma and grandpa!

Start getting your kids to write! You will be surprised as to where their little minds will take them.

Anik Therrien
Mind Growth Education, Guest Blog Writer

Here are some links that can guide you: