1. Pen pal
Children can develop excellent letter writing and communication skills through the
adoption of a pen pal. This is a terrific year round activity but can be extremely
beneficial during the summer months when most students are not academically challenged. A
Pen Pal can either be a distant family member, a member of the church or community, or a
friend. There are also a number of agencies that specialize in arranging Pen Pals (check
the Internet or local library).
2. Thank you
When your child receives a holiday or birthday gift from a relative or friend, have him or
her write a "Thank you" note instead of responding with a phone call. This is
another way of sharpening a child's written communications skills.
There are an abundance of Creative Writing Courses offered in most communities. These
courses help to motivate and encourage children who are interested in becoming better
There is a tremendous amount of writing software available for children. This software can
serve as a remedial, enrichment or supplemental tool and can be extremely beneficial when
used as a summer or weekend activity.
5. Writing about
literature or a movie
Summer can be a time for catching up on leisure reading or going to see the latest summer
flick. After reading that favorite book or watching a movie, encourage your child to write
a response to what he or she read or watched. Encourage your child to include feelings
about the plot, characters, setting, etc. He or she may also choose to discuss how the
ending could be changed.
6. Explore the
The Internet is a wonderful educational resource. From essay contests to reading and
writing games, there are many educational and entertaining sites on the Web related to
7. Peer editing
As your child completes a writing assignment for summer school, have his/her sibling or
friend edit the completed essay. All parties involved in this process benefit from the
8. Journal writing
Encourage children to keep a daily journal where they can write about events, friends and
feelings. Writing about events and activities that directly relate to or affect the
child's life can be a good start to getting him or her interested in and excited about
Here are some "thought starters" to help inspire young journal writers.
I am happy when...
My favorite hobby
My best friend is,,,
I am proud of myself
I wonder why,,,
My favorite holiday
My favorite teacher
When I grow up, I
want to become a...
I am thankful for...
If I could have
I am frustrated
My favorite year in
When I open a
When I look up into
a sky full of stars...
I feel lucky when...