Artistic activities for kids are fun. Parents are willing to place huge orders on Amazon for all kinds of art supplies. Encouraging your kid’s creativity is a great thing to do! But what happens with their writing skills?
Writing exercises are another way to encourage and support creative processes. But for parents, these activities are less fun. Most people struggled with writing throughout the school years, so they don’t think it’s an important skill for their children to develop.
Oh, but they are wrong!
This skill is linked to the overall communication capacity, and it’s required for a lifetime.
Since school assignments are usually boring, it’s the parent’s responsibility to offer writing help for kids in a more approachable manner.
Tips: How to Help Kids with Writing
1. Encourage Reading
Reading is the first step towards developing better writing skills for kids. To write well, they need rich vocabulary. Children are quick to pick up new words, so you should trigger that capacity through reading. Magazines, newspapers, and online articles for children are great. But eBooks and real books are better.
Spend at least twenty minutes per day reading! As long as you choose fun books, both you and your kids will enjoy this activity.
2. Try Transcription Apps
Your kids can’t write yet? You can still practice writing! It’s important to encourage them to express themselves. If you use a transcription app, you’ll have their words in written as they speak. Dragon Dictation is the usual choice, since it’s really easy to use.
Invite your kids to tell a story and let the fun begin!
3. Teach Working in Drafts
The parent requires a short story. The teacher requires an essay. The college professor requires a research paper. All these projects are intimidating, since the writer is required to focus on the final result. Long story short, people struggle with writing and end up deciding “I’ll hire a pro to do my dissertation at Writix” later in life. Your kid has a long time until that point, and that’s exactly why you should grab the opportunity to practice.
Practice – that’s what writing is. Before you see the final result, you go through multiple drafts. Even if they are not brilliant, they are still great because they are attempts. Teach your kids to focus on the process. As long as they keep trying, the final result will be great.
4. Work on Sentence Constructions
Grammar – that’s the hard part. The parent has a huge responsibility to support the development of communication skills in their kids. Yes; young children speak in short, disconnected sentences. Writing is the perfect practice for overcoming that phase.
Teach them how to develop proper sentences. If you’re not a native English speaker or you struggle with grammar even if you are, you should think about taking online courses together with your children. It will be fun!
5. Allow the Use of Spelling and Grammar Checks
In an attempt to teach them how to write properly, you might be tempted to ban the use of spelling and grammar checkers. You think these tools will make your kids lazy. They will stop thinking about the correct way to write, since the tool will warn them about mistakes.
It’s okay. Grammar and spelling software is actually beneficial. Your kids will make habitual mistakes, and the tool will warn them until they stop making it. They will pay attention to the underlined words and sentences, and they will find ways to fix the issues.
Figure 2. Source
6. Try Copying Activities
For most writing activities, your kids will be the authors. But if your kids are not ready for that, you should give them a writing model. Choose any paragraph from their favorite book and let them copy it. They will try to write the perfect copy, so they will mind the form of the letters, spelling, spacing, punctuation, and everything else.
7. Work on Planning, Revising, and Editing
Writing is just a step of the process.
You shouldn’t avoid the pre-writing and post-writing stages when teaching your kids to write. First, plan what you’re going to write. Let your kids brainstorm for ideas and note them down. What will the message be?
Once they are done writing, you should help them with the revisions and edits. During the revision process, they will fix grammar issues, but they will also become aware of logical inconsistencies.
Writing Is Fun!
Many people have a negative reaction to writing challenges. If that’s your case, your kids shouldn’t learn from that attitude. You’ll make an effort to make writing fun for them. With the above-listed tips on how to improve writing skills for kids, that shouldn’t be too hard.
Children love new challenges, especially when they trigger their creativity. They can write about toys coming to life, dragons, imaginary worlds, and anything else they like. Just as they love reading stories, they will enjoy creating them. Maybe you’ll fall in love with writing, too. Allow yourself to be surprised!
Robert Everett is an editor and copywriter for an academic writing service. He also works as a writing tutor with little children. If you’re after tips on how to teach or learn writing, you’ll find them in Robert’s blog posts.