We took the kids with us to buy a family car. If you've ever bought a car you know that the process from test-drive to purchase can be a long drawn out process. Add kids without devices and it's enough to make you crazy. I won't get into the nitty gritty of the experience but I will say that the kids were so in tune to what was going on that they were inspired to write about it the next morning. The teacher in me was beyond thrilled by their eager excitement to "journal" this experience.
After we took a moment to reflect on the experience, what they enjoyed most, basic observations, and any lessons learned, we moved forward with writing prompts. Each kid wrote their prompt on paper and then typed their essay on a computer or iPad. Little sister transcribed her essay on the iPad which has auto complete. This was actually really helpful for an early reader/writer. I'll blog more about this in a later post. Here are their essays below, unedited:
"What Buying A Car Is Like"
Big Sister (age 9)
Yesterday i went car buying with my family it was a very interesting experience because... First, you pick the car you are hoping for and take on a test drive to see if it works. Second , you have to pick your favorite top two cars and compare and contrast how fast it is and how much money it is.
Also, you have to talk more about what the comfort levels are like is the car big enough? Or Does it fit car seats? Is it comfortable in the front and back.
Then, you go with a man to fill out 1,million forms about credit, the bank ,and permission to use your credit card.
In Addition , the final step is you go with a lawyer guy to fill out and they ask if you need safety stuff like if you bump a curb they will send a tow truck. Last, you get the walk out price and you drive out with the car.
In my opinion car buying is for people who have patience because there are hours of waiting two observations i've made are 1: only men work at car dealer and 2: was that car buying is super STRESSING! In conclusion car buying is a very stressing and an interesting experience
"My Opinion About Buying A New Car"
Middle Sister (age "8")
I think buying a new car is for people who have patience. First, you have to fill out dozens of paperwork about the car. Next, you have to talk a lot. Third, you have to test drive all of the cars you want. Fourth, I saw that only boys were selling cars. Fifth, you have to wait,... A Lot! Sixth, you have to see a lot of cars. Seventh, you have to see if the car is comfy. Eighth, you have to see if at least a family of 5. Ninth, you have to see if it can fit a few people. Thats why I think car buying a new car is for patient people.
"Buying A Car"
Little Sister (age 6)
It was so awesome because it had a moon roof. We got to go on a test drive and it was a lot of waiting and it was fantastic. I loved it. My favorite part was when we got to go on a test drive. We had burgers for dinner. Mom and dad made a good choice.
Reflection is an important part of life. Reflecting on experiences allows us to retain important information, meditate on our choices in that moment, and creatively think about new possibilities for the next time we are in a similar experience. Having kids write reflections allows them to take time to think about the process of an experience from start to finish. It gives them the medium to express themselves and share their opinions about an experience. It provides a creative outlet and the opportunity to practice creative writing techniques.
My kids were so engrossed in the car buying experience in ways I didn't realize at the dealership. Reading their prompts was very illuminating for me. They remembered some very key moments of buying a car (I was impressed). I encourage everyone to get their kids writing more through reflective writing prompts. You'll be surprised by what they produce.
It's really important to provide "organic" experiences by taking your child places that will stimulate their 5 senses.