Merry Christmas and Happy Blogging!

I. love. technology.  Just thought I’d put that out there.  I love that using technology allows me to do so many things more efficiently.  As a Children’s Librarian, and a mom, I also sometimes benefit from being sneaky.  Now you know.  For example, one thing I’ve always tried to do is match what I know kids enjoy with an educational benefit.  My own crew at home has always loved computers and video games, so when they were younger we became educational software addicts!  You might be surprised at how many games and web sites offer games and activities that use reasoning and logic!  As such, I’ve been very interested in articles that I’ve run across lately that confirm publicly what I’ve always suspected, that certain kinds of technology are educationally beneficial. (Notice I said “certain”.  I am in no way condoning playing war games for hours on end, AND it must also be noted that even good things must be done in moderation.)

Now, having said all that, I’d like to bring up blogging!  Of course, this web page is considered a blog.  However, what I’d really like to talk about is the idea of blogging for teens, and even preteens.  Now, you may have never considered your child having a blog.  Maybe the majority of your child’s computer usage begins and ends with social media sites, such as Facebook or MySpace.  However, bear with me just a minute as I introduce a few of the benefits of blogging.  What brought this interest about, you say?  Good question!  I began to realize that starting a blog might be a great creative outlet for one of my own kids.  This particular young ‘un loves to write, draw, and is all in all very imaginative.  Perfect, I thought.  And I was right.  After learning how to set up a blog, this kiddo pretty much ran with it.  What surprised me just a bit was that their sibling soon stated that they wanted to start a blog too!  Could it simply be a case of one wanting what the other had, you might say?  Could be.  Or their interest could also be explained by recent studies, which show that “when children are allowed to choose their own topics, as they do when they maintain their own blog, they become engaged in their writing and enjoy it”.  Enjoy writing?  Actually, the wanna-be blogger does NOT enjoy writing, so anything that would help in this area would be great.  Hmmm.  I next read that another benefit of having a blog is that it can also increase children’s confidence in their writing ability.  In fact, an organization called the National Literacy Trust found after surveying English and Scottish students that “young people with a blog…displayed greater confidence, believing themselves to be good writers.”  Even better.  They now have my attention.  In conclusion, I’ve tried to not overload you with too much information, and would just suggest that if this idea appears to be something you feel your child would enjoy and benefit from, do your research!  If your child has a holiday break from school, this might be an activity that you can look into together while at home on those long, long, wintry days!  I’ve included a few links below which might be helpful in your quest to decide, “to blog, or not to blog…that is the question!”.

Read more at Suite101: The Benefits of Allowing Preteen Kids to Blog


November is Family Literacy Month

Our children’s programming is off to a running start this month!  Click on the Calendar or Programs and Events links to view the Children’s Programming calendar for November.  We’ll be participating in the county-wide Reading Celebration at Marion County High School on Nov. 16th at 6:00 p.m., hosting a magical HPrty (Harry Potter Party) on the 18th at 5:30 p.m., and much more!  Also, we’d like to remind everyone that links of all sorts are added regularly to our blog!  There’s something to interest everyone…kids, tweens, parents, and even educators!  (By the way, if you have a favorite literacy, educational, local, or just-for-fun web site feel free to contact us and let us know, we’d love to hear from you!  Our contact information can be found under the Information and Hours page.)

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