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Writing (& arts and crafts time) time: Take the time to say ‘thank you’.

There is something special about the two simple words thank you. I say them often, which sometimes may be a little too much, but my sincerity is there. Saying thank can go a long way, especially when they are a response for kindness that is extended to you.

Along with composition, the writing of letters can be easily included into your homeschool lessons. Adding a course on writing or creating thank you notes may also be included.

On Fridays, I allow my children to spend their own time writing on any subject that interests them. On Sundays, they spend their time writing letters to family members and friends. If it is after a birthday or around the holiday season when presents are received or exchanged, then they understand and are prepared to write thank you notes for the gifts they receive.

When my oldest turned five, he banner_toshad his first birthday bash where guests included more than just family. The many guests brought many presents and the day after the party, we started working on thank you notes for the cool gifts he received.

I used construction paper and cut the cards into an interesting shape and he drew a picture of the gift and hand wrote a note specific for every gift received. We also took a picture of him using every gift and included it in the card. Needless to say, his penmanship improved and he gained a new appreciation for the gifts he received. It also reinforced that when someone extends an act of kindness towards you, then the proper response is to say or write thank you.

Thank yous come in verbal form as well as in hand written form, but not as often as they should. It is easier to say thank you, than it is to write thank you, so most people opt for the former and call it a day. In some instances a verbal thank you is fine. Most people don’t expect to receive a written thank you note for holding the door open for you. Today, most people also don’t expect to receive a thank you note because not too many people send them anymore. If I give a gift to someone, then I do expect a thank you, but I don’t expect a thank you note. To clarify, I don’t give a gift to receive a thank you, but instead to show my appreciation for that person. When I do receive a thank you note, I’m grateful and also impressed because I know somewhere that person learned the importance of thanking someone for their effort; they were “raised right“.

Besides building character, teaching your children to say thank you and also understanding the importance of writing thank you notes (etiquette 101) as well as when to send them, are values that will carry them through to adulthood. Their thank you note may bring needed comfort to someone. Think of how good you feel after receiving a thank you note. They may also be that remembered, and later hired, candidate after a job interview.

Here are some tips on writing thank you notes with your children:

Start Early
As soon as your child can hold a crayon, start him drawing pictures for his thank you notes.

Let Them Be Creative
If your child wants to send handmade cards (draw pictures, cut, or glue, etc.), then let him design his unique card. These will be cherished upon receipt as well as when the child grows older. My grandfather kept many of my handmade cards that were later given to me for remembrance after he died.

We’re Not Worthy
No one deserves a gift! Just as one should not give to receive, one should also not expect to receive just because they live and breathe. Explain to your child that if someone took the time to give a gift, then they should take the time to thank them.

Feel Good
When the recipient receives the note, you want them to not only feel good that time was taken to say thank you, but that the gift they gave was something of true value to the child. Depending upon the age of the child, try not to “write” the note, but guide your child so they include key points in their note. Receiving dictation from a two year old can be quite entertaining.

If your child is older, then he should address the giver by name, specifically mention the gift(s), and maybe mention how much they enjoyed the gift or how they plan to use it. There is no need to mention that it is one of many or that they “didn’t really like it.” Instead they can say they “plan to share it with their sister or brother, etc.” Remember to always encourage honesty.

So let your little artist get busy and creative and don’t forget to write your own thank you notes too.

When is the last time you hand wrote a thank you note? What was the gift or gesture received?

Check out all the great bloggers in the Crew blog hop!

And be sure to visit a few of my blog friends:
Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy
Crystal @ Tidbits of Experience
Rebecca @ Raventhreads
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Monique @ Living Life and Learning
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Lisa @ A Rup Life
Beth @ Weavings

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