We all know how writing is important for everyone, but getting the skill to write is quite challenging. Luckily for all of us, there are plenty of activities out there that may help your child develop writing skills even from an early age.
Why does writing count so much anyway?
There are many things that make writing so important and this is why we listed for you the main reasons:
- Writing is useful
No day goes by without us needing to write down something, whether you have to fill out a form at the doctor’s office or you need to write down your shopping list. You do need to write clearly and you also have to organize the information, which is also important.
- Writing counts in any student’s education
Even though we like in the era of hi-tech where there’s a gadget or an application for everything, many assignments and exams still require from students to write some short answers or more complex essays, in order for the teacher to check his level of knowledge. The older the student is, the more it’s expected from him to master sophisticated writing skills, able to complete more complex tasks by writing. Let’s not forget that many colleges and universities still require from their applicants to write essays as part of their admission application.
- Writing means communication
You still write letters and emails to your friends and family and even professional colleagues. Writing may be the very last phase of communication and it’s a final way to sign contracts, treaties or leases.
- Writing is important when getting a job
There are many jobs out there that require good writing skills. Whether we think of taking phone messages and developing some administrative work, or even writing some articles or reviews, the ability to write may be fundamental for some jobs. Even submitting a resume or a letter of application for a new job may require you good writing skills, telling your boss-to-be something about your background and skills for the job.
- When writing heals you
There’s the general idea that writing becomes therapeutic (venting emotions) and it’s a great way to express emotions that you would typically have difficulties expressing.
What are the solutions?
Keep in mind that writing may be difficult to teach and to assess as well and many kids out there encounter difficulties in writing clearly, coherent, organized. Additionally, they may lose confidence in their writing when the results aren’t the ones they hoped for.
This is where the work of parents should strike in and it’s your job to encourage your kid to write from an early age. The more you’re routing for him when writing, the higher the chances for him to get better in time and to master, eventually, the art of writing.
Where to begin
All your preparations should start with your will to help your kid and a kit full of practical things:
- Yarn, ribbon
- Writing book/notebook
- Pencils, crayons
- Safety scissors
- Construction paper
Now that your kit is all ready, you also have to look around and make a few changes:
- Prepare the best place for your kid to write. There’s no point of trying to make him write in a fun way if he doesn’t like the place where he’s doing it. Choose a table or a desk with a smooth surface.
- Don’t forget about lighting as your kid needs to see perfectly what he’s doing
- Give your kid all material he needs: pencils, pens, and crayons.
- Have a chat with your kid and try to put in practice his ideas, suggestions as he’s getting ready to write down some of his impressions.
How to encourage a young child to write?
You may always get creative when it comes to this part or you can take a look at our tips. After all, no one is master at this.
- Have your kid tell a short story and write it down exactly, just like he told it to you. Don’t hesitate to ask him questions if something isn’t clear to you
- Cheer your little one into drawing and talk about his drawings too. Ask the right questions, the ones that need an open answer, though: “What’s the story behind this picture?”, “When did you see a house like this?”. Show your kid you care by asking questions and encourage him while he’s drawing or trying to write.
- Support your kid into writing his name and highlight the letters from his name every time you see them in other places. Even though he’s going to write only the first letters in the beginning, you just need to wait for the rest of them to come.
- Turn your kid’s writing into books by pasting it on pieces of construction paper. Create a cover out of cardboard, decorate it with a title, special art and write down the name of the author, your kid. Make the holes through the pages and cover and put them together with some colorful yarn or ribbon.
- Play some games and puzzles with your kid, the ones that teach him how to spell and increase his vocabulary as well. From the word games, anagrams, cryptograms, to the crossword puzzles and flash cards, you may use so many for helping your kid write easier later on.
What about the regular activities?
You don’t always need the special activities for helping your kid to write and sometimes regular activities may work their magic too.
- Cheer your kid when she’s writing, even if it’s scribbling. This means gives her the chance to write down her name every single chance, from the birthday cards to the stories or some shopping lists.
- Let your kid see you when you’re writing and never miss a chance about writing either. This is a great way for her to get why writing is important.
- Encourage your kid to always take some short notes when you’re travelling and to describe in her words how she’s feeling. She may describe the nature walks, a car trip, or some other experiences that are interesting enough to be written down.
- Have some fun with your kid and write together the shopping lists, letters and lovely notes on a chalkboard in your kitchen.
- Sustain your kid to read her stories out loud and listen carefully, trying your best not to interrupt. Always give her a positive feedback about what you’ve just heard.
- Encourage your kid to write letters and emails to the friends and family. It may be a simple card in the beginning, just saying “Hello”. Take the extra mile and send her a letter from time to time, making her feel special and appreciated. Why not finding a pen pal for your kid also?
- Copying has its benefits and you should suggest your kid to learn the words to a song by writing them down. Don’t let her stop there and help your kid copy favorite poems, quotations from books or plays.
- Always encourage your kid to keep a journal. This is a good thing not only for writing skills, but also for venting some feelings. Whether she wants to share it with you, it’s entirely up to her and the matter of another article.
You should also keep this in mind
The list of things you can do for encouraging your kid to write isn’t over yet and there are some other things you can do for better results.
- Always respond to your kid’s writing and let him know how you feel about her ideas verbally or in writing. Let her know that you care more about the writing conveys and “what” she writes is more important than “how” she’s written it. Forget about the minor mistakes, especially if your kid is just getting ideas together.
- Give your kid time to make an idea about her future project or exercise. Many writers spend time thinking, taking notes, doing some research before actually getting to writing. Your kid may want to sharpen a pencil, get the papers ready or check some spelling. It’s all part of the process though and be patient with her.
- Stay away from writing for your kid when it’s about a project and don’t rewrite your kid’s work either. You kid has to learn responsibilities and about deadlines and being ready in time.
- Give a positive note to your kid’s writing and try to see anything good in her work.
- Let her practice every time she has the chance as practice makes perfect even when it comes to writing. Never miss an opportunity and always try to create new and various situations so that the writing also gets creative.
- Help your kid practice spelling as she gets older. From the more common words, to the more complicated one, keep in mind to teach her from the beginning the right spelling.
- Don’t hesitate to give your kid some help every time she needs it and support her efforts, help her clear her ideas and to better organize them. Focusing on the main objective is also essential so she doesn’t go off the track.
As you may see, the ideas are many and the pieces of advice are plenty and they all come down to one major thing: your will to help your kid to learn how to write!