Getting your children into the habit of writing now can save them much of stress later down the road. If you get them to love writing now, or just to tolerate it, then high school or college essays will not be another headache to them. There are some simple ways and activities that will slowly build your child into a good writer. You never know, you may discover your child is an everyday Poe or Austen.
Set up an area
If you want your child to take their writing seriously, then you have to take it seriously. Somewhere in your house, whether it is their room or a little space in the office, set up a desk and chair. Also equip your child with a couple of notebooks, an organizer, pens, and pencils. It is also a good idea to set up a time each day. This can give a couple of moms a small chunk of free time if you assign 10-30 minute non-stop, non-talk or question-asking writing sessions.
An idea jar is a great way to get young writers started. All you have to do is type up several story ideas, gripping first sentences, or questions to provoke thoughts.
When the idea jar is running low, another great idea to get your child writing is to have them write letters. Start with a list of your family members and friends. Receiving letters back will make the letter writing even more fun. Try to find a pen pal in a different state who is their age. It might be a good idea to contact parents on a parenting message board and ask if they have children who would be interested in pen paling with your child. Always read the letters being received and going out to ensure the most safety. Your children can also benefit from writing to their favorite food companies.
Make writing go beyond pen and paper
Expand their writing past journal entries, stories, and letters. Teach them and help them write scripts, comic strips, poems, and songs. The best part is having them bring the words alive through a puppet show, poetry reading, or singing.
An encouraging critic
The whole purpose of having your child write is to help them learn. With every piece of writing, correct them on grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Do not forget to praise the story idea and characters, no matter how strange they are. It might be hard for some parents to take a red pen to their child’s work, but this is the way they develop into a better writer.
A sure way to be a better writer is through reading. Reading helps one see and copy structure and expands their vocabulary. It is also a great source of ideas to young minds.
How exciting to your child would it be if they saw their name in print! There are many children writing magazines that publish all kinds of children’s writing. Encourage your child to do better by having the goal to be published in mind.
These ideas and some time and patience on your part will truly make your child a better writer. Sticking to a schedule will also help them to be disciplined. Good luck!