Help! How can my child improve their writing skills?
Writing is a vital skill that children continue to develop right throughout their schooling, however not all children find writing an easy task. In today’s technology driven environment writing has become an even more important communication skill with new forms of communication adding to what children need to learn.
Why is writing important?
- It’s a practical life skill.
We complete tasks almost daily by writing: such as filling in forms, writing shopping lists, letters and emails or reports.
- It’s an important aspect of a child’s education.
Even with the increased use of technology in schools, children are still required to put pen to paper during assignments, school work, homework and exams.
- It will be critical to your future job.
Employees in certain areas write daily. Teachers, receptionists, journalists, researchers and many other professions all rely on their writing skills to perform their jobs. Your child might also develop an interest in creative writing and become an author, script writer or song writer!
- It allows you to communicate.
Writing letters and emails to stay in touch with family and friends, and even writing and signing contracts and leases are different forms of communication.
- It’s an outlet.
Many people find it therapeutic to write down their thoughts, frustrations and feelings, or to create fictional texts that allow them to express their creativity.
So, how can I help?
- Make it FUN!
Encourage but never force your child to write, they could develop a negative attitude towards it if they feel forced into it. Let them write about topics that they are interested in, if they love robots, let them write a story about a robot or a letter to an engineer telling them how to design a robot.
- Praise them.
Give your child lots of praise and encouragement. Be realistic about spelling and grammar, give constructive and positive feedback. You could even publish a piece of work that your child is particularly proud of (even if it’s just making their own book at home).
- Create a writing environment.
Create a space in your home that’s dedicated to writing, have different writing materials available, a comfortable chair to sit on and a table that’s the right height for your child.
The best writers are readers too. Reading shows your child how writing should look, improves their spelling and enhances their vocabulary.
- Model writing.
Let your child see you writing. This shows them the different scenarios where writing is used and allows them to ask questions about how you write.
- Write for different reasons.
There are so many different forms of writing, not just story writing. Let your child explore writing letters, cards, poetry, emails, blog posts, shopping lists, and journal entries.
- Create writing prompts.
If your child feels stuck have a few writing prompts to get them thinking, such as:
If I ruled the world…
The day I found the magic bean…
How to ride a dragon…
Draw a character. Now write about it.
Send an email to the Prime Minister making a suggestion to improve your neighbourhood…
Writing is a great way for children to express their creativity and is an important part of their academic lives. Making it fun, giving your child the time and space to be creative, and practising often will all help them in becoming better writers. Learn Primary includes many lessons aimed at developing an understanding of the structure and features of different types of texts and how to write for a purpose. Why not try them out?