Recently, intergenerational writing courses have been making headlines because they place people from different age groups into the same class. While it does require special teaching techniques to reach students of varying age groups, the effort is often worth it. Participating in these types of courses allows everyone to gain new skills, and seniors can enjoy these 5 benefits of interacting with the younger generation.
1. Find Meaning in Life
After retirement, life tends to become monotonous for many seniors. It is also common for seniors to lose their self-worth when they no longer receive accolades for a job well done. Intergenerational writing classes allow seniors to develop relationships with their classmates that boost self-esteem and give them something to look forward to each day. Some seniors may require assistance with their writing tasks, and their classmates or professional caregivers can be of help in this regard.
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2. Learn to Write Realistic Dialogue
Every generation has their own way of talking and relating to each other. Spending time with classmates who are in different age groups helps students learn language patterns that enhance the realism of their story. This also makes it easier for seniors to relate to their younger family members when it no longer sounds like they are speaking in code.
3. Increase Problem-Solving Skills
It is important for seniors to engage their minds every day. Writing classes are great for encouraging problem solving as students collaborate on assignments and sketch out plots. Seniors also get to help their younger classmates learn new skills as they critique each other’s assignments. Finding ways to offer constructive criticism that enhances someone’s writing is a great way for seniors to keep their minds active.
4. Extend Friendships Beyond the Classroom
Seniors and their classmates often form relationships that go far beyond writing. For example, a teenage student may find that a senior fills in the gap left by a lost grandparent, and they begin meeting monthly for lunch on the weekends to talk about writing and life. Alternatively, seniors may discover they share a hobby with a classmate, and it gives them something to talk about. Either way, forming new social ties helps prevent depression and isolation.
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5. Open Minds to New Skills and Concepts
Some seniors are reluctant to learn how to use computers. However, watching young adults test out a new writing program in class can get seniors interested in learning technology. Alternatively, younger classmates may discover seniors have much to share in these classes. Together, every member of an intergenerational writing course contributes to the group, and the lessons learned at each class go beyond the written word.
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