In the days of email and internet, is the art of writing letters dying out? Definitely not – there are over 2 million people registered on Penpal World, one of the main pen pal websites. Penpalling is not only still popular, but can be extremely beneficial to your children. It can help them with their English and French language skills, expanding vocabulary and constructing sentences. It can help them improve their creative writing, encouraging imagination. But more importantly, having a good penpal can teach your children to communicate with others and express their feelings better.
Learning about the world we live in
In Canada, more than 30% of the population speak French – around 9 million people. That doesn’t mean, however, that they understand what life is like living in France. Having a penpal from another country means that your child can learn about what it is like living and going to school in another country. For instance a Canadian traditional breakfast includes cooked eggs, fried bacon and sausages, potatoes and perhaps some French toast and pancakes. Your child could compare this in a letter to a penpal from Paris, where breakfast might include fruit, croissants, and preserves. School life is very different too – there are so many ways your child could learn about living abroad – it could really expand their horizons.
Understanding the benefits of waiting
We are living in a world of instant gratification, that in many ways is unhealthy for the soul. You want to watch a film? Just download it. You want to buy some shoes? They can be delivered by tomorrow from the online store. What is that teaching the new generation of children? That they can have something instantly. Instead penpalling can give them a different kind of satisfaction – that excitement of waiting for the post. That feeling that if you write a good letter full of questions and dialogue, then you will get one back. Work hard and you will be rewarded in the long term. It’s easy for children to take charge of their own letters too, you don’t have to get involved in taking them to the post office. Just show them how to print stamps online with OnlineStamp, and they can get their letters, postcards and parcels ready independently.
Make new friends
Studies have found that 20% of Canadians regularly feel lonely. Having a penpal can help to counteract these feelings of loneliness and isolation. Canada is a big country in an even bigger world, but we can all be joined together for the cost of a simple stamp. Establishing and maintaining new friendships is extremely important for children. They will not only have you someone to talk to, but the friendship is formed through the non-judgemental eyes of a letter. It doesn’t matter if you’re fat, thin, black, white, or whether you wear clothes that are in fashion. A well-written letter to a penpal has no prejudice. It is just a wonderful way to communicate.
Letter writing can really open up your children’s eyes to the world around them. They can improve their language skills, learn about life in a different country and make some lifelong friends.