Helping Your Child Learn to Write




    Writing will always be important in your child's life.  Writing is:

    ·   Practical--make lists, jot down reminders, and write notes.

    ·   Job-related--writing memos, preparing reports, proposals, letters, research.

    ·   Stimulating--writing helps provoke thoughts and to organize them.

    ·   Social--writing thank you notes and letters to friends and family.

    ·   Therapeutic--it can be helpful to express feelings in writing that can't be expressed so easily by speaking.


    Writing well requires:

    ·   Clear thinking

    ·   Sufficient time

    ·   Reading

    ·   A Meaningful Task

    ·   Interest

    ·   Practice

    ·   Revising


    Pointers for Parents:

    ·   Your goal should be to make writing easier and more enjoyable for your child.

    ·   Provide a comfortable place for your child to write.

    ·   Provide plenty of writing materials.

    ·   Allow time for your child to think.

    ·   Respond to your child's writing.  Focus on the "what the child has written, not "how" it was written.  Ignore minor errors.

    ·   Don't write a paper for your child, or rewrite his work.  Taking responsibility and feeling ownership of it are important parts of writing well.

    ·   Praise your child's writing efforts. 


    Things to Do:

    ·   Make it real.  Encourage your child to write to relatives and friends.

    ·   Suggest note taking.  Encourage your child to take notes on trips or outings and to describe what he saw. 

    ·   Brainstorm.  Encourage your child to describe people and events to you.

    ·   Encourage keeping a journal. This is excellent writing practice as well as a good outlet for venting feelings. 

    ·   Write together.  Have your child help you with writing letters, making a grocery list, etc.  This helps your child see firsthand that writing is important to adults and truly useful.

    ·   Use games.  Word games and crossword puzzles help a child to increase vocabulary and make the child more fluent in speaking and writing.  Building a vocabulary builds confidence.

    ·   Suggest making lists.  This is good practice and helps a child to become more organized.  Suggestions:  make lists of their toys, baseball cards, books they enjoy, things to do, school work, social events, etc.

    ·   Encourage copying.  A child might copy a favorite poem, quotation from a book, song lyrics, etc.