se7en

The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Saturday Spot: The Mailbox and Letter Writing with Kids…

October 14th, 2010 · 10 Comments

This Saturday gone by was World Post Day and all things postal sprang to mind. Our post box is one of the most watched spots in our house and everyone knows the klunk as a the lids drops. Followed by the mad dash to be first!!! My kids know there is only one way to fill it with letters and that is to send some… so letters they write!!! What inspires them to write letters? Real live letters of the paper variety, in a very digital age? Well letter writing is appealing in the sense that you are sending someone a gift, albeit small!!! Sometimes they pop stickers in them or a small packet of jelly candies.

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We have a chest of drawers in our front hall and each drawer is dedicated to a project…

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And one of them is all things postage!!! Address books, writing paper, postal codes, pens and pencils saved just for letter writing.

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Once a week at the end of school on a Friday we whip out the drawer and everyone writes a letter. Not ten letters, not a letter to every friend they have ever had! Just one letter, often, once they get going they will want to write a heap!!! Also I make absolutely no effort to correct or perfect their letters. You might notice that!!! Letters get posted as they are!!! I just want them to be writing and enjoying the process!!! Letters really don’t have to be perfect but they do have to be from the heart…

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So the question I have been asked is where to I find people for my children to write to, so here you are: Se7en places to find a letter recipient:

  1. Family: Usually you don’t have to look too far… I have discovered all grannies are not created equal, with one granny that loves and adores letters and can never get enough and the other granny that just doesn’t!!! That being said you probably do have… somewhere… a suitable relative that your child can write to. Relatives are handy because you can easily interpret, for the recipient, what was intended to be written by your overambitious young scribe!!!
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  3. Thank-You: Never underestimate the power of a thank-you letter. My kids write them. Yes it is time consuming but if they get gifted or someone invites them out, then they will write a thank-you letter. I won’t write them for them!!! If they are still just beginners at writing then I let them dictate to me and that becomes their copywork for the week. No-one wants a letter from someone, written by someone else – trust me on this!!!
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  5. Friends: Like most South African’s we have friends flung all over the world, in fact, I often think we may have more friends living on the far side of the world than we do locally. Most of our friends from Varsity days, that live in faraway places, have a couple of kids with similar ages to ours and it is quite easy for them to begin swapping letters.
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  7. Adopted Grannies and Honorary Aunts: My kids collect Grannies and Honorary Aunts – I don’t know how!!! But they do have a little collection of true friends that will send them a birthday card or a gift from time to time. They even have an old lady that they have only met once or twice and she prays for them everyday, how wonderful is that, well she is the recipient of the odd letter. And sometimes that letter is an invitation to tea – a slow old fashioned invitation!!!
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  9. Authors and other such Celebrities: If your child has a favorite author then visit their website – very often there will be a snail mail address that your child can send an letter too. My kids have had pretty good success writing to authors and very often get a letter back or at least a bookmark back from the publisher saying thank-you for your letter.
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  11. Visitors: We get a lot of visitors and make every effort to invite folk we find visiting Cape Town: students far from home, new faces at church and so on. Often my children ask if they can write to them… and they end up being long lasting friends!!!
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  13. Missionaries: I have mentioned before that each of my kids have a missionary that they write to , and just recently somebody asked me where did we find them. The answer to that is they happened over time as my kids interacted more at church or spotted an interesting looking family on a card on somebody’s fridge. My kids pick up pamphlets at church, you know the type: “Tick the box: prayer support, financial support, receive my newsletter” type pamphlet’s. I only ever let one of them respond to a particular pamphlet. I can’t imagine any missionary on a tight budget would want to send se7en newsletters to one address!!! My kids always tick the receive your newsletter box and they always assume when they do receive the newsletter that it is a personal letter to them and they respond in turn!!! I have never ever had a missionary friend not respond positively and usually it is the start of a sporadic interaction between my child and said missionary. If you are looking for a missionary in a distant land for your child to write to then I would contact a relevant missionary organization and ask them if there is a missionary that would like to receive letters. Trust me they will have someone, or a family with kids your kids’ age to write to.
  14. DSC07013 And the Se7en + 1th thing…

  15. Themselves: From time to time I get them to write a letter to themselves, listing their current favorite things: favorite meal, favorite book, favorite outing… let them draw a self-portrait and drop them into their memory boxes… We will read them when they are older, I guess they are mini-time capsules.

Now I don’t want you to go away thinking my children are avid writers and spend their free time scribing epistles and then posting them far and wide. Turns out they have a long list of folk that they would like to write letters to. And while they are mastering the art of letter writing so our mailbox continues to fill up with more than just bills and junk mail!!!

Just a quick reminder that if you haven’t entered this weeks GiveAway yet then follow the link and leave a comment!!! This Post is part of The Thirty Minute Mom’s Challenge at Steady Mom. I popped this post onto the Works For Me Wednesday Site – go and have a look there for all sorts of tips on absolutely anything.

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Tags: House Tour · Inside · Language Arts · Outdoors · Saturday Spot · Se7en at School

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Aunty Muffin // Oct 14, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Wonderful that you encorage the kids re the “lost art” of letter writing!

    It is wonderful that you encourage the kids in the “lost art” of letter writing! As you said, we all love getting mail!

  • 2 Cheryl // Oct 14, 2010 at 11:25 am

    What great ideas. I’m going to suggest some of these to my children. At school, each year, they write a letter to themselves outlining what they want to acheive in the academic year. They open it at the end of the year. Sometimes they are surprised at what they wrote!

  • 3 se7en // Oct 14, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Hay Aunty Muffin – There is indeed nothing as nice a real letter!!! Hope you are having a good week!!!

  • 4 se7en // Oct 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Hay Cheryl… i don’t think I would ask mine what they would like to achieve in a year!!! I will hear things like absail off the roof, swim everyday regardless of the weather and so on… and on… and then some more!!! Hope you guys have a fun weekend!!!

  • 5 jacki // Oct 15, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I loved this post and thought it was inspiring. Love from the far side of the world…

  • 6 se7en // Oct 15, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Hay Jacki!!! Now if we could just get the mother person to the post office to post them!!! I have a growing and eternal pile of goodies at the front door!!! Lots of love to all of you!!!

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  • 8 Christi // Apr 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me.

  • 9 se7en // Apr 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Thanks Christi, Glad you liked it… Hope you have a great weekend!!!

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