Writing is such a crucial skill, and yet many children find it a challenge. However, learning to write is a fundamental skill, and as a parent you are in a position to inspire your child to learn to write well as they get older through making it an enjoyable activity. Here are a few ideas to encourage your child to write.
The Earlier the Better
Early learning is crucial for skills like reading and writing. Allow your child to become familiar with writing as soon as they can hold a crayon. They don’t have to actually start writing, but you can draw out letters and put them together to form words from a very early age. Essentially, it is never too soon to introduce children to writing.
Read & Talk All the Time
Reading is a skill that complements writing, so start reading together with your child as soon as possible. Stories can be a great source of inspiration, and as your child gets older, you can encourage them to write about the stories they have read.
Good writing also comes from talking lots. Talk to your child about everything. The trip to the supermarket and the items you saw, the food they eat, the games they play, the people they meet – the more you talk and share your experiences, the more you are helping to grow their vocabulary from a young age.
Make Learning Fun
Although the National Curriculum covers learning to write, you don’t want your child to think of writing as work that they only do in school. After all, writing is a fantastic skill that will open up a new world to them. So make it exciting and fun so that they can learn while having fun.
This could include playing simple vocabulary games that become more advanced as they get older. Spelling games can also be useful, as long as you remember to keep it fun.
These days, there are plenty of opportunities to incorporate technology into the learning process. There are now many apps for tablets and smartphones that can help a child to learn to write better.
For example, a product like ‘Learn to Write with Mr Pencil’ from Leapfrog is an iOS app that comes with a stylus in the shape of a big pencil that your child can use on the screen. With over 80 writing activities, it can help your child to learn how to write letters and numbers, and such educational games as this can be the ideal way to make learning to write fun.
Lead By Example
When it comes to learning to write, your child can benefit by observing you, so make sure they see you writing regularly. Write the shopping list each week and get them to help you. Write letters to friends and family, and then get your child involved as well. Ask family members to write back to them so that they can enjoy the excitement of receiving a letter, which may inspire them to write more of their own.
Get Them Kitted Out
Even something as simple as using coloured pens and paper can help to inspire your child to write more. Get them their own equipment, and build up their stationery over the years. As they get older, get them a desk so that they have a place where they can write down their thoughts, a diary, a child-friendly dictionary and thesaurus, and build up their writing kit over time.
Encourage Creative Writing
Creative writing is fun, so encourage it. Get your child to write a story after being inspired by one you have just read, or introduce them to poetry and other creative forms of writing. Don’t worry about what they write, just as long as they are enjoying what they are doing. If they write a short story, laminate it so that they can be proud of their achievement.
Don’t Be Discouraged
Kids take many years to write well, so don’t be discouraged if they seem to make slow progress. Don’t criticise them, and always focus on heaping praise on them for their achievements. Don’t worry about the errors they make, because these will be sorted out in time. Instead, focus on praising them for what they have done right.
Help Your Child to Reach Their Full Writing Potential
Your child is capable of writing well, but you must encourage them from an early age. Follow the tips above to incorporate writing into their lifestyle, making it a fun and rewarding activity. Writing is such an essential skill, and by helping and supporting your child from an early age, they will be better prepared to write well and clearly, which will help them right the way through to adulthood.
Laura Farmer is an experienced educator and busy mom. She values education in the classroom, at home, and on the go, so she often blogs about creative ways to integrate learning in a variety of environments.