I’ve read my blog to my family a few times. It helps to read this out loud, for both editing opportunities and a bit of encouragement from those close by. Last night, my daughter wanted to read more of my entries, and then said she wanted to start a blog.
So I helped her get one set up. Her first entry is about the social rankings of her elementary school classmates. It led to some great mother-daughter conversations and gave me some great insights into what floats around that preteen mind of hers.
When I first started teaching, I had my students journal and then I would reply to one journal entry a week. I would often leave questions and hope for a ‘conversation’ to occur between us. That never really happened. Most of the time, the students didn’t answer the questions in an additional journal post. They might just use one or two word replies, or just not reply to them at all. I had no follow-through with this either…32 journals to get through in a week (5-6 a night) was enough without having to go back to all those that maybe didn’t respond. In retrospect, maybe it was because I had them journal daily and I only chose one, and it could have been one they weren’t interested in saying anything more about. I have seen how difficult it can be to try to write when you feel like you have nothing more to say. But my goal of relationship building through writing never really was accomplished.
Now I realize that is isn’t so much about the back and forth response but the information given from that journal entry and how I respond to it that makes the difference. I asked my daughter more about her blog entry in person, to clarify some of her imagery and word choices, to ‘check in’ and see how she was doing as ‘the cherry on top of a double scoop cone’ – (In her mind, cherry on top is optional and not really part of the cone…you can still have an ice cream cone and wouldn’t ever need the cherry…but you do need the cone and the ice cream – a bit heart-tugging for this mom to hear) But I love that she is excited about blogging because I have been blogging. She has entered the Slice of Life challenge without even knowing about it. Her motivation isn’t prizes, or upholding personal commitments, or even a certain audience. Her motivation is clear – like mother, like daughter, and my heart is full.