Parents should be very careful and patient as they teach their children to write. For a large percentage of adults, school essays and assignments were pure torture. Not only was it not easy to put your thoughts on paper, but teachers require the child to have a certain well-formed thought about some issues. We talked to experts from a renowned academic writing service to find out what activities and writing habits would help your child develop these skills at home without being torture.
Writing Habits That Will Build a Better Writer
Reading and writing go hand in hand. People who write well are generally considered well-read; not only do they know grammar and use vocabulary correctly, but they are also good at other subjects and understand different styles of writing. The school teachers and local librarians can help you choose books appropriate for your child’s age and interests. Children who can already read on their own often do it fluently and skip words. This is why reading to your child aloud will help them listen thoughtfully to the words, overall meaning, sentence structure, and rhythm. Audiobooks can be a good analogy. It is necessary to take your child’s taste preferences into account. Don’t force them to read Harry Potter if they prefer Tom Sawyer or Alice in Wonderland.
Try to encourage daily writing. The best way to improve writing skills, regardless of age, is through regular practice. If you homeschool your child, you need to include regular writing lessons, but you can also have your child write about their day, dreams, wishes, friends, books, or how they want to spend their next birthday. You can suggest that your child keep a journal of dreams or their thoughts, or give them prompts in the game form: pictures, illustrated word books, one sentence to start a story, etc.
Don’t Be Too Strict
When practicing writing with your child and checking their work, avoid rushing to point out grammatical and spelling errors right away. When we allow children to write freely on a particular topic, we allow them to take a chance and express themselves openly without fear of making mistakes. After seeing a bunch of corrections in their work, a child may shut down and no longer show their talents or be creative. They may just use the words and structures they know without making up anything new. Free them from the fear of making a mistake. Teach them to proofread and edit another time. Work on grammar separately. Writing is their opportunity to learn how to brainstorm, organize their thoughts, be creative, and communicate.
Fascinating and Useful Writing Habits for Children
There are lots of surprisingly fun and easy ways to help your children develop their writing skills. Try to add to the curriculum not only what we think of as formal writing training but also a variety of word games and integrating writing into their overall lifestyle.
Let’s explore options for fun activities that will make your child a better writer.
- Offer your child to become a real journalist and take interviews. Grandparents can tell fascinating stories from their youth, siblings can tell about the day they first met each other, and a neighbor can share his usual day at work. You can offer your child to arrange these interviews into a newspaper or a magazine with photos and illustrations;
- Find photos of various people on the Internet and offer to describe a character for a story or a fairytale you write together;
- You can arrange a concert for the whole family once a week. Offer your child to work on stories, jokes, songs, poems, or sketches to perform;
- Play word games to enhance their writing skills, logic, imagination, and storytelling skills. You can either purchase board games or play them online;
- Offer your child to find a pen pal and write letters to them. A kid can also write letters to his favorite actors, musicians, or even a fictional character;
- Hang a small chalkboard in a well visible place at home and offer to write the phrase of the day. These could be feelings, worries, words of gratitude, love, or support.
As you can see, there are tons of informal ways to motivate and inspire your child to writing at home. Every child wants to be an adult. If you can convince them that being an adult means thinking non-trivially, they will begin to express their maturity accordingly. In order for this to happen, you must be a role model for your child and always work on writing together from the very beginning.
Remind your child that grades are not an indication of success in life. Do not indoctrinate your child in any way to the contrary. Otherwise, they will continue to strive for artificial goals created by someone else without finding their own creative energy. A mistake only means that you can become a better person by correcting it.