Newsletter Charm

In the midst of summer, both of the kiddos were really into creating their own newsletters. MeiLi wrote a weekly paper on food and published 3 issues (raspberries, chives, and cucumbers) which she proudly distributed to her subscribers. Buddy wrote just one on airplanes. He had started a second on jets, but then their enthusiasm dwindled and he never came back to it. Last week’s field trip to the newspaper has reinvigorated their interest.

click on the image to enlarge and thereby read his text

When we returned home from Taekwondo last night, Buddy turned on the laptop, loaded up Pages, selected his favorite template, and began work on a new issue.  The theme … what else but BMX ?! 

He asked for assistance to Google images and to move a few of the template pieces (graphics, text boxes, etc.) around.  He also needed help with spelling and grammar of course.  I was in the midst of preparing dinner so MeiLi worked with him to set style of the page.  I then spelled out most of the words for him slowly … one letter, one punctuation mark, one space key at a time.  It was slow and arduous but he is so proud and that makes all the difference.

He is already working on another issue … on freight trains.  “Let me just finish this one, Mom.  Then I’ll go back to my jets newsletter.” As he progresses through each issue, he becomes more comfortable spelling and remembering when to use the space bar.  It is such a joy to watch! 

Unprompted Writing Lessons

Early in August, the neighborhood girls came up with a creative idea they called the Pickwick Club.  Their intent was to create a weekly newspaper in which they would each submit different articles (comics, jokes, news reports, etc.).  My daughter came home enthusiastic about their venture, informing me that she was to write the food column.  I was both intrigued and surprised.

As the coordinator for our Roots & Shoots Club … I produce a quarterly newsletter in which I provide our members with information about our upcoming endeavors, outings, and topics of interest.  Frequently, MeiLi has sat with me … helping to assure my prose is easy to understand.  It was thereby no surprise that she wanted to create her portion of the Pickwick Club Newsletter in Pages (Mac’s word processing software).

She logged in immediately, opened Pages and selected Newsletter.  She began to format her first edition with little help from me – asking occasionally how to spell particular words and how to format an image mask.  She found her images online and summarized her text completely on her own.  It is becoming quite apparent that a lesson on documenting sources and the concerns of plagiarism will be needed sooner than originally anticipated.

Take a peak at her first issue.  Thus far, she has been consistent and hasn’t missed a deadline.  She even canvassed the neighborhood for subscribers.