One of my New Year goals was to do more writing...inspired writing...with my kiddos. The kids LOVE receiving their own mail, which seems to be decreasing in frequency as more and more technology appears on the horizon. In the past, I've encouraged them to write letters to Grandma, as she is a very loyal replier. But since you can only write so many letters to any one person, we're attempting to branch out a bit. Hopefully, our story will encourage you to start your own correspondence...
I happened to "run into" a past acquaintance (through adoption connections) on a homeschool forum who has two boys. Since they live in another state, I thought it might be a good penpal experience, allowing my son to connect with other children adopted at a similar time from the same country. It was fascinating to watch the enthusiasm with which he wrote these boys. My 5yo approached the task with equal enjoyment, drawing pictures and allowing me to write down his dictated letter. After having spent a couple months writing the penpals, I eventually figured out that my boys had more penpal energy than they knew what to do with, so I set out to find more...
One thing I noticed? My 8yo was VERY interested in writing to children adopted internationally. He didn't seem to care where they lived. He just wanted to write to other kids who started life in a similar way. So I posted on a local adoption playgroup forum, asking if anyone had a child or two who wanted to penpal with my boys. We found two matches who, like us, attend some annual adoption agency get-togethers. I love the fact that my boys are getting to know kids that they'll eventually meet and play with in another setting. My boys are quite inspired to write and wait with great anticipation for the mail to arrive. Today a letter arrived from one of the new penpals with a photo. My son personally carried it around to show various members of the family and now talks about the child like he's a new friend.
Want to find a penpal for your child? Start by considering interests that your child may want to pursue. In our case, the adoption connection is highly valued by my son. What would intrigue your child? With the advent of technology, I'm quite sure you'll be able to local a good match!
All just waiting to be discovered.