It's important for kids to have fun while they're developing their writing skills. Kids can get discouraged easily because writing is intricate work; it requires many careful decisions.
When they write, kids have to decide what the purpose of their writing will be, who their audience is, and what information they want to convey. Then they have to divide it up into paragraphs that work well together, and draft each sentence with an eye for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. It's not easy!
It takes years for children to develop their writing skills, but there are lots of benefits to becoming a strong writer. Writing requires kids to organize their ideas into a logical progression, which helps them become better thinkers in general. And writing can fire up kids' imaginations, giving them another outlet for their creativity.
Here's some practical advice on how to help your kids become strong writers:
- The best way to ensure that your child has a good time while she practices writing is to start small. Short writing activities at home, away from the pressures of the classroom, can show your child how fun writing can be. There are some suggestions for writing activities in the linked pages below, but you can also come up with your own that are tailored to your own family.
- Your child might make mistakes as she writes, but don't worry about them too much. You should encourage your child to write correctly, but it shouldn't become your overriding concern. Remember, the important thing is that your child has a positive experience. Everything she writes doesn't have to be 100% correct.
- Be sure to celebrate your child's writing successes, too. Make sure to praise your child as she writes. You could also post her finished writing in a place that will let your child know how proud you are of her.
When it comes to writing, practice makes perfect. As your kids get comfortable with the process and start having fun with it, the quality of their writing will grow.
For even more ideas for writing activities you can try with your kids, try one of these links:
- There are activities grouped by age level at Houghton Mifflin's Web site. Be sure to check out the "Bright Ideas for Writing" section.
- The Department of Education has many suggestions on activities that can build young children's reading and writing skills.