7) Have them pick out their own writing journal
Writing skills are critical for kids to develop early in their education. Their ability to express their thoughts and ideas through the written word remains a critical part of their success in university and their future careers. It’s easiest to get them started by having them pick out their own writing journal. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Take them to the dollar store and have them pick out their own notebook. The fact that your child can decorate it just the way he/she wants will make them own the book and the experience of writing it. Get them stationary/crayons/pens as birthday gifts. Have them pick their own special writing spot in the house where they can escape to when they feel like writing. Creating opportunities for them to write will increase their chances of engaging in writing when they choose to do so.
6) If they go somewhere special, have them write about it
Practice makes perfect. If you take a trip to someplace new, to a new amusement park or the zoo, encourage them to write about it. Make it fun by having them write a kids travel review including what they liked and didn’t like about the experience. If they like playing video games, have them write a story about one of the characters. Encouraging them to write about something they love or a fun experience will create positive associations with writing that will motivate them to write more on their own.
5) Help them get it published
Talk through their ideas with them. If they have writers block, have them draw random pictures and make a story out of them. Starting with drawings can be a great way to teach them how to navigate the daunting process of creating a piece of writing when faced with just a blank page. If they are comfortable, help them get their work published on online kids writing contests or kids magazines. Be cautious not to hype up the contest as a competition to win. This might put undue pressure on them. Rather let them know we are sharing their writings and ideas with others who might find them interesting. If they win, it may further encourage them to write more on their own.
4) Let them see you read and write often
Most kids want to be just like their parents and willingly follow your lead if they see you typing away or snuggling up with a good book instead of the TV. I like to have “writing dates” with my 8-year-old. We have a scheduled time, maybe on a quiet weekend, where we both sit with some hot chocolate and write in our journals together. We then share what we wrote and just chat about it. I’ve found this to be a great, non-judgemental and enjoyable way to encourage writing for my daughter.
3) Praise and encourage their efforts
Help them edit what they write. After writing, listen to them read it out loud to you. Listen without interrupting. Focus on the content and minimize criticism on the mechanics. Your child will have more incentive to work on the mechanics i.e. grammar, spelling and punctuation if they feel that they are doing an excellent job at just writing in the first place.
2) Don’t force them to write
This is especially true for the reluctant writer. You don’t want them to see writing as a chore. Good writing never comes from being forced to do so. Enrolling them in a kids online writing course can be a great way to get them writing more often without you hassling them to do it. If they struggle with being perfect, teach them that no great piece of writing is ever perfect on the first draft. It’s ok for them to get all their ideas down on paper, imperfections and all. Then you can go back and teach them how to edit.
1) Encourage early reading
Read to your child daily. When they enter kindergarten have them start reading to you and sounding out the words in books for their reading level. Most successful writers are avid readers. Kids will also learn how to write by what they read. Expose them to a variety of diverse reading material for their age group. See “Top 7 ways to encourage your child to read” for more tips.
Share your tips for kids on how to become a better writer!
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