If your child is expressing interest in writing and has asked to start a blog, your first reaction might be to say no. After all, the Internet is a big, scary place. Read on to discover how you can best support your tween writer.
J.K. Rowling, the author behind the “Harry Potter” series, started writing at the age of six. Joyce Maynard, who is best known for her memoir “At Home in the World,” won her first student writing award at age 12. Young adult fiction writer and author of “The Outsiders,” Susan Hinton began working on the book at age 15 and published it at age 18. Today, children and teens have access to online platforms that enable them to share their stories with readers across the globe. With a little prep and help, you can guide your budding author in the right direction by helping him or her launch a writing blog with these three tips.
1. Find Inspiration
If your child is expressing interest in writing and has asked to start a blog, your first reaction might be to say no. After all, the Internet is a big, scary place. However, writing outside of the classroom encourages young writers to use their imaginations and it further develops their reading and writing skills. Writing, for many adolescents, is an emotional outlet that allows them to express their feelings freely. Creative writing can also help your child develop his or her own identity and confidence.
Before your child gets started on his or her blog, sit down with him or her at the computer and take a look at some of his or her favorite teen blogs. Foster a discussion about what type of writing he or she wants to feature on his or her blog. The Huffington Post Teen section is a good place to start.
2. Choose a Platform
There are a wide range of platform options in the blogosphere; however, not all are suitable for tweens. If you’re concerned about your child’s privacy and exposure to inappropriate content, there are options available that protect your child. For children under the age of 13, the blogging platform Kidzworld is a great option. For teens 13 and up, WordPress is a suitable and more advanced blogging platform. Both blogging platforms are free.
3. Create Content
If you’re not a writer or are not familiar with the blogosphere, this final step may seem daunting. Remember, you child is the author, so let him or her take the lead. Online grammar tools like Grammarly can help your child fine tune his or her blog posts, as the tool offers spell-check and grammar suggestions. With this tool, your child’s posts will look like they’ve been proofread by a pro.
No body of text is complete without a few images. Whether your child uses his or her own photos or images from a photo site like Shutterstock, images play an important role in blog posts. In fact, blogging expert Jeff Bullas claims that blog posts with images get 94 percent more views than posts without photos. In addition to increasing readership, photos help your young writer tell a visual story that complements his or her words.
- Monitor your child’s blog: Check his or her browser history and monitor his or her activity. However, do give your child the room to create and learn.
- Educate your child about safety: Remind your young author to avoid posting private and personal information online.
- Teach kindness: Online bullying has become a big problem. Teach your child how to make appropriate comments on other blogs and social media sites, and don’t be afraid to talk about cyberbullying.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
That we have to all appreciate the little things and to not take anything for granted.
2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I’m blessed to have loving family and friends in my life.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
Graduating from Arizona State University in 2013. Goal to travel more and always learn from new experiences. Maybe one day I’ll even write a book about it. One day…
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
Nobody’s perfect and it’s been hard to accept it. I’ve learned to embrace my curly hair, my curves and my quirky personality.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
Dog! My five-year-old Jack Russell Terrier is my everything.