Blogging is a way for kids to communicate with each other, work out tricky school problems, practice writing, and learn to use a popular technology.
Ways to make blogging safe for kids
No contact or email information
Turn off the commenting feature
Review all posts for sensitive, revealing information
Use pseudonyms for all family members
Only share blog address with a closed group of people (family, a homeschool group, kids in the class)
Make a family blog
Instead of your kid having her own blog, she could be a guest poster on your individual or family blog. Or, she could have her category that appears on the menu, like a newspaper column. Every family member can. If everyone posts once a week, the blog will be updated regularly enough to be current and interesting.
Life goes by so fast. Blogging provides a way for the family to check in with each other even when they have grown and moved away. Taking the time to compose a piece creates thankfulness, thoughtfulness, and reflection in a fast-paced stream of consciousness.
We are a consumer society: we watch tv, read books, listen to music, and play games. But the average Joe creates very little. Blogging is one easy way to birth ideas, share, inform, connect. In addition to posting links of other people’s videos and websites, bloggers can also write poetry, analyze an idea that has been buzzing around, develop an opinion that helps others make decisions.
Even if a blog remains completely private, once printed, it is a precious preservation of your child’s interaction with the world from his viewpoint (like a technological version of his room in a specific time frame). A 12-year-old’s posts will be remarkably different from a 14-year-old’s.
It’s not homework
Let your kids choose the topic of their posts. Challenge them with a word limit – 200 words? 150?
Reviews (games, books, movies, music)
Write about your favorite article of clothing
Which song best describes you? Why?
What is the best way to get over a crappy day?
What makes a best friend?
Why are those shoes, bag, phone, etc. worth the price?
Make it permanent
Internet businesses can be hacked, have meltdowns, and fold, at which time your data and blog could disappear. Print the blog every six months using a service like blog2print or blookup or intorealpages.com. Choose soft cover, hard cover, or PDF. Holding your own work in your hands feels REAL; this is a piece of MY history, these are my memories.