Mr Kemp NZ

Writing Skills for Kids: How You Can Improve Your Child’s Writing

Today’s blog is a guest post from Emily Watts who is a passionate writer who blogs on many popular sites. 

The ability to write proficiently is highly necessary because employers want their employees to have excellent writing skills, even if only for e-mail communication. Writing skills are developed in the early years of learning to write but perfected in middle and high school, but these skills often fade into the background with time. It is, however, possible for children to improve their writing skills through regular encouragement and practice. These tips below will provide you with ideas and techniques that will hone your child’s writing skills. I would recommend sharing this with your parents:

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jwynia/372790877

Read books to your child. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand. Well-spoken people are usually well read, and they are not only able to articulate their thoughts clearly, but they can understand different writing styles. A teacher or a local librarian can help you choose books that are appropriate for your child’s age and interests.

Play word games. Word games refer not only to commercially available board or card games but also to highly intellectual games that can increase your child’s reasoning abilities. Today, there are many online word games you can play with your children. Choose the one that you believe is appropriate for your child.

Give them space to be creative. Give your children some materials and space in your home to be creative. Children should have a quiet place to learn and do their homework. Ideally, it should be a table in the child’s room, away from the television. Your child’s workspace for writing should include the following:

  • Pen, pencil, and paper. When a child gets older and gets access to a family computer or device, they will want to start typing on the computer. You can encourage your child to use a device, but you should also have them use a pen and paper. Getting children to write on a regular basis is a proven way to improve child handwriting.
  • Thesaurus. Your child will need a thesaurus when they begin working with synonyms and antonyms. Your child’s vocabulary will improve vastly with the help of a thesaurus.
  • Dictionary. When your child does not know a word, have them look it up by using a dictionary. Doing this will help them to commit the new word to memory.

Encourage daily writing. The best way to improve the writing skills of your child so that that they can become an online essay writer, for instance, is through regular practice. You can do this by having them write formal letters, or you can have them keep a journal about their school day.

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smaudtie/2206290240/

Teach your child to brainstorm before they write. Most writing begins with planning before the writer puts pen to paper or starts typing on the keyboard. You can use the following approaches to encourage your child to think about the structure and content of their writing:

  • Ask your child about their writing project. When they are writing a story, your questions can revolve around the narrative. Ask, for example, “When will the action take place?”
  • You can ask about the main conflict: “What is the most important event?”
  • Ask about the actions and decisions of the protagonist: “How will Paul Revere warn the colonists that the British are coming?”
  • When writing a report, relevant questions can revolve around “who, what, where, when, why, and how.” If it is difficult for your child to make a decision about what to write, ask questions about the things they did in the past and enjoyed. You can also ask questions about someone they admire, or anything else that concerns your child.

Be a stenographer. Write down your child’s thoughts and read them back to them. You can do this with very young children to help them learn how to combine words in conversation and writing. You can also do this with older children in order to help them focus on their tasks.

Help your child to write. Don’t do it for them. Although it is normal to offer writing help if your child is having trouble, especially with their homework assignments, you should never do the work for them. While this may be very tempting, we recommend that you only help your child with their writing assignments. Don’t do the work for him.

Read your child’s writing. Read your child’s writing and offer both your praise and criticism. Gently point out where they could have done better because your child’s writing skills will not improve if you just give them constant praise. Just remember not to be a fountain of constant criticism. If you see something that your child did well in their writing, be sure to point it out.

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Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Head of Educational Technology at a large International School in Singapore. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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