Do you know someone living alone?
Statistics say you probably do, with one in four Australians living on their own. (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012)
Research shows, not all people living on their own are lonely and some prefer living on their own than with others.
However, if you do know someone who is living on their own they may love to receive a letter from your child.
Benefits of Letter Writing
Sense of Accomplishment
Placing the envelope with their letter in the letter box is a big accomplishment for children. Knowing they have not only written a letter but also, placed it in the envelope, written the address (possibly with help), put a stamp on the envelope and then posted it, is a great feeling for children. Hopefully, the person you sent the letter to will acknowledge the letter either by phone or mail.
Confidence in their writing ability
Learning to write is a hard skill. Anything which helps children believe in their ability to write or learn to write is beneficial. Your child should gain confidence in their ability to write letters if you give them the chance to write independently, then post the letter regardless of what is written.It is a chance for your child to show-off their writing skills whether it is writing random letters or sounding out real words.
Writing for Fun.
Writing an informal letter to a personal family member or friend is often more about the thought and the content than the correct letter writing protocol. Let your child write independently and to not worry about the constraints of correct letter formation and size, spacing between words and spelling.
Understanding the need to learn to write
Children mimic adults. It is a known fact children copy what adults do. If you write often around your child they will want to write also. Letter writing is one way for you to write, whether you write cards, postcards or letters to family/friends your child will want to write also. Hopefully, if your child writes to the right person, they may write a letter back to them, which will give them a chance to practice their reading skills. You may like to, when your child is not looking, to place a sticky note on the letter to interpret your child’s writing if they are a beginning writer.
Improved Writing Skills
Last but not least, all writing leads to an improvement in your child’s writing skills. They may have learned a new word or sound while writing their letter. They would have tried sounding out new words or just writing letters randomly. Give your child the chance to improve by giving them plenty of opportunities to write.
If you do not know anyone living on their own, here are a few suggestions of who your child could write to.
Writing letters to children in Australian Detention Centers http://www.befriendachild.com/
Writing letters to give to the local Retirement Homes/Nursing Home
They could also write to a family member living in their own house – and post it in their own letter box.