or The Joy of Children's Newspapers
We recently came across an old issue of the newsletter our family used to publish and send out to relatives and friends years ago. The Chronicle was a collection of the children's writing and it had popular columns such as recipes from Josiah, 'The Creative Sandwich Man', 'Caught in the Web' kid's website reviews, Junior Jokes, stories, reports, anecdotes, poems, artwork and the like. Mary Rose was just a toddler and her contribution to every issue consisted of a cute photo for her own feature, 'The Merry Rose Garden'. That seems like a long time ago.
Children's newspapers are a great writing exercise for children who love to write as well as
those who run screaming at the thought the reluctant writer and everyone in between. Everyone loves to have an outlet for their writing (hello bloggers) and children are no exception. Even with today's abundance of online writing and even blogs written by youngsters, having a hard copy to have and to hold and turn the pages and look at again and again gives young writers a sense of accomplishment and pleasure that cyberspace can't match. And while I know there are many techno-savvy grandparents out there I'm sure that my mother is not the only grandma in the universe without a computer. So there is still a place for written newspapers. It's also a practical way to send the 'news' to several different people at once.
That being said, our Chronicle fell by the wayside because it was too much work for the editor and publisher, aka Dad, to keep up with. The children's writing all had to be typed in, artwork scanned, pages formatted and the like. Every issue even had a hand lettered masthead of pictorial letters that corresponded with the theme of the issue. But as with many things, I am learning that simpler is often better, especially when it is simple or nothing. We now have a new newspaper in circulation, The Sir Garnet, written by the three big girls. I simply print out the barebones pages with a masthead and numbered pages, three or four is all .
They write directly onto the printout, and then we just scan the whole sheets and print out a few copies to mail. Any illustrations they wish to add are just pencil drawings done alongside the writing. They choose the topics, and take turns writing the front page 'top story', such as Mary Rose's account of our dinner guest from Holland and his telling us about the dykes and skating on his canal. Whatever strikes their fancy. The last page is always Lydia's bird page, with either the latest bird happenings or a mini report on a particular species.
We proofread for typos, but that's all. With no real editing it's not their most polished writing, but that's okay. Our goal is to keep in touch with far away family members in a fun and enjoyable writing outlet. The children are happy, the grandmas are happy, and you have a wonderful record of lots of family memories written from a child's point of view. You will treasure this writing in years to come, I know, such as this vintage piece from an eight year old boy I used to know named Josiah...
Hello! Happy D-Day! Today is June 6th. Today we are having a D-Day party. This morning we were marching outside with flags and kazoos singing the Marine hymn...
I think if you click on the picture above it will be large enough for you to read the rest, all about the cake Jonathan made with England and France in frosting and little tags labeling the beaches in Normandy and Josiah in charge of the parachute launchings...sniff...sniff...sniff.
And a trivia quiz -Does anyone know where the name 'The Sir Garnet' comes from?