We all know that technology has become ubiquitous in our society. While people debate the merits of technology and its effect on our culture, as a grandparent who lives far away from her grandchildren I take full advantage of it. Skype allows me to see my grandchildren frequently and certainly more often than traveling cross country for a visit. We can prepare and eat dinners together, share stories about our days, and perhaps my favorite activity made possible via Skype – we can read together.
As much as I love reading to my grandchildren, at times they appear to be bored, imagine that! Lately, I’ve taken a new approach to using technology and getting my Nana / teacher time in: email.
All kids love to use the computer although all too often this is to play games. So now, starting with our three-year-old and including our four, six, and seven and nine-year-olds we are emailing several times a week.
Our three-year-old sends me messages that sometime look like – ASNGVJ[‘EDHGONV.MN’OLKGMV/A – but he is able to “read” to me what he has written and we are both happy. The four-year-old has begun to use initial consonants and sometimes I can figure out some of his writing. I carefully try to ask what he wrote, always sure to validate what a great job he has done. The older kids are really writing and we have a great time going back and forth with messages.
For years I have known that reading and writing are terrific partners (and I’ve blogged about it here Reading and writing the dynamic duo . Today, technology is an undeniable part of the equation; an added dimension that can strengthen the partnership. Whether your kids are near or far, try setting up email accounts so that they can write to their friends or relatives. They’ll love it! Just be sure not to let them know that this is another tricky way you are keeping them on the right track as you can continue to be the ultimate teacher.