Mellow Mummy: #JustWrite The Art of Writing Thank You Letters : Taking life as it comes...

Tuesday 22 December 2015

#JustWrite The Art of Writing Thank You Letters

We have a little tradition forming in our Mellow household that the Christmas thank-you letters start on Christmas Eve. Lara and Holly like to write their first thank-you letter for Santa and they leave it with their stockings before they go to bed. This year Lara has made a little card to put her letter to Santa in. She spent quite some time penning a little note and sticking it inside ready for Santa to read on the night.

After Christmas my girls will be writing short thank-you notes to everyone who receives and distributes presents on Santa's behalf. As a child I remember writing letters to all of my family after Christmas and Birthdays and it is a tradition that I'm keen to pass on to Lara and Holly despite the changes in tech since my day! Did you know that over half of the UK's teenagers have never hand written a thank-you letter? Wowzers.

Interestingly, this year our main present to our daughters is going to be a computer.  So it would be rather tempting for their first set of Christmas thank-yous to be penned in Outlook as an email, right?  Wrong.  Lara and Holly are both at such key stages of their literacy learning that it is really important to me that we share every opportunity we can to #JustWrite.

The art of writing a thank-you letter is a craft that you can hone as a child. Remember who gave what, remember one good thing to share about the present you received and remember to describe something fun you did over Christmas. A thank-you letter is a little story that has a start (a thank you), a middle (a present or an anecdote) and an end (a goodbye) and it is such good practice for first writing skills such as spelling and letter formation, but also for key story telling skills as well as literacy exercises such as formation of sentences and learning how to address different people in different ways.

Because Bic have found that many teenagers don't pick up a pen more than once every couple of months they've launched the #JustWrite campaign to try and encourage people of all ages to pick up a pen or pencil and just...write.  In an age when much of our communication takes place in word processors and websites, its important not to lose the art of hand-writing for exploring, learning and sharing.  At this age it is about setting habits for life and helping to build hand-writing skills that children can use, if they need to, when they're older.  Even in a job where I use computers to write software that automates peoples lives, I write all of my notes by hand as a notebook is quick, easy and portable...and it is a little bit of me!

As a self-proclaimed techy I'm really eager that my girls are comfortable with technology from a very young age but I'm equally eager to give them the tools they need to learn the art of letter-writing.  So I'm popping an easy-grip pencil into both Lara and Holly's Christmas stockings in the hope that they will Just Write their Christmas thank-you letters.
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