Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Friendly Letter

My soon-to-be 7 year-old daughter has been subjecting us to reenactments of her lessons from school lately, using the whiteboard in the girls' playroom.  In the moment, these lessons are a mixed blessing; we get insight into what she is learning at school while being bossed around in the evening as we catch up on the day's emails, finish dinner and clean up, and get ready for bedtime.  The lessons have ranged from "From Seed to Tree" to "The Works of Leonardo da Vinci" to "What is an Adjective?", complete with lesson, review, Q&A, and homework.

Last week, we had a lesson on The Friendly Letter.  We learned about friendly letter structure, formatting, and proper greetings and closings.  For homework, we randomly drew names of another member of the household and were assigned to write a friendly letter addressed to that person, due in one week.  As if we weren't busy enough!  We procrastinated, hoping Sophie would forget about the whole thing, but she never does.  She even made notebook paper for us by drawing blue lines on white paper, an orange line for the margin, and punched three holes along the side (I told her I had notebook paper, but she insisted on making it for me).

And then, we started to experience the magic of The Friendly Letter.  I received my letter shortly after the assignment was made, from my father, written in Google Docs and emailed to me.  It was brief, but I was moved by his expression of his love and the sense of permanence and sincerity from his written words.   Over the following few days, notes of love and appreciation trickled throughout the house from one person to another.  For the recipients and receivers of The Friendly Letter, it has been a moving experience, an opportunity to reflect on the goodness evident in our lives, to practice kindness, and to nourish our relationships with each other.

Thank you, Sophie, for the lesson on The Friendly Letter.