Does your child write short stories in their free time? Do they write with finesse, painting vivid pictures with their words? Channel your child’s love of writing by encouraging them to start a blog.
Though blogging may seem just a fun hobby, blog writing for kids and teens can have academic and real-world benefits. It can help build their vocabulary and communication skills, giving them an opportunity to write in a more low-pressure space. According to Education Week Teacher, blogging can provide a safe space for kids to sharpen their voices.
Furthermore, encouraging your children to maintain their own blog writing website can help prepare them for college and the workforce, teaching them online marketing and typing skills. Their blog can serve as a portfolio of their work, tracking their growth as a writer over time.
So, how do you help your child start a blog in a way that is both constructive and safe?
First, walk them through the process of launching it. Brainstorm blog names and topics. Will it showcase their poetry? Maybe they want to use it to share reflections on life as a teenager in the 21st century. Whatever their idea, it can help determine the name and look of their blog.
Maybe you’re unsure if the domain your child wants is available, or they’re not sure what it will be. Getting started with creating the blog can help answer these questions.
Once the blog is set up, it’s time to consider privacy settings. Will it be a public blog that anyone can read, or will it be for the eyes of family and friends only? You can adjust the privacy settings of a WordPress.com blog by navigating to the Settings section of your website and then Privacy on the General tab. From there, you and your child can decide if it will be public, if you want to block it from Google searches, or if it will be visible only to approved users.
Depending on your child’s age, you might want to discuss what is and isn’t appropriate to post online and to consider who will be reading it. Some basic rules you may want to establish include:
Using your child’s first name only, or using a pseudonym
Not disclosing where they live or attend school
Not using friends’ full names
You should also discuss whether or not it’s okay for your child to post photos of themselves to their blog, especially if they’re too young for social media. Again, depending on your child’s age, you may want to set up the blog with your email address or use one that you share.
Once it’s live, follow your child’s blog to receive email notifications when they publish a new post, and talk to them about their writing. Let them know how much you loved the character development in their latest short story, for instance. And if your child approves, share their posts with your friends and family.
Not only is blogging a wonderful creative outlet, but it also gives children (and adults) a platform to hone their writing skills. And just as you would expect your kids to practice playing clarinet before a big concert, or shooting hoops between basketball games, writing is a muscle that needs to be conditioned and practiced to improve over time.
A dedicated space to work on those skills, such as a personal blog, can ultimately boost your child’s confidence in their writing ability. So, why wait? Help your child start a blog for free now and nurture their love of writing.
You might also like: Free Classroom Websites for Teachers