Writing is something very vital to an individual’s life. It is something everyone does constantly and throughout the course of their lives. Whether it’s writing your name for a reservation or answering a survey, writing is something everyone does and it’s also important to know how to write well. However, that’s easier said than done. Writing can also be a very difficult thing to master, especially if it’s something that requires length and research.
But since writing is very important, children should also learn the art of writing early on as this can help them master writing. There are many ways to do this such as enrolling them in writing classes or even engaging them in English home tutors who can help them harness and improve their writing abilities. As parents, there are also many things you can do to help your child become a stronger writer. We’ve gathered some tips and activities to help you get started.
As mentioned, there are a ton of ways to help a child become a stronger writer. Let’s first tackle some activities that parents can help their child with that would help them get started on their way to becoming stronger writers.
When children only start to write, they usually start with their names. As they begin this journey, parents can help them by practicing with them at home. Writing is never easy and for first-time learners, it can get difficult and confusing. This is the time for parents to step in and help their children. They can start off by spelling out the letters to the child and help the child point things or objects that have that certain letter. This can be a form of associating things with a certain letter which will make it easier for the child to remember. For example, if the child’s name has the letter A, the parents can point out apples and associate the letter A with it.
Of course, a child learning to write their name and mastering it doesn’t happen overnight. It can be a lengthy process but if the parents continue to support the child, they will be writing and spelling their name without help in no time.
Children like to draw and that can also be used to help them with their writing. Some children learn to draw before they can learn to write, or it can be the other way around. And if the child likes to draw, why not take it as a means to also get them to talk about their drawings? Ask them about their drawings like what has inspired their drawings, the colors they used, and if there is a story behind the drawing. Parents can even encourage them to write on the drawing to help add to their story. Children usually start off comprehension with pictures rather than words so using their own drawings can be a good way for them to transition to using words for their stories.
Nothing really gets a write more motivated than seeing appreciation for their work and the same can happen with your child. Help the child understand the power of storytelling and encourage them to create their own pieces of stories. They don’t have to be long passages with complex details, it can be just something the child enjoys. If they can’t fully write yet, parents can assist them by writing it for them but do not change any of the details the child has given.
When they can already write on their own, encourage them to collect their stories and turn them into books. It doesn’t have to be fancy or anything. Parents can help them by binding the pages together and maybe even using the child’s own drawings as the cover page. As the child grows older and their skills in writing widen, they may get feedback from their peers or teachers, but it’s important for the parents to be the first to appreciate their talent and skills. It may be a silly thing when they look back on it but it can help with their confidence in writing as well as practice these skills that they have.
Learning doesn’t have to be boring. Children have short attention spans and when parents help them with writing at home, they may easily get bored. To combat this, parents can use a wide variety of games to interest the child and retain their focus on practicing writing. There are many apps that offer to help with vocabulary and writing. Children can also learn with apps that encourage writing by tracing their fingers on the screen to follow the stroke of the letter.
Writing is done every day whether we are aware of it or not. As such, practicing writing can also happen through day-to-day activities and even outside of the lesson time for children.
Children also learn by imitation and when the adults around them aren’t keen on writing, they may also feel the same. Set an example for your child and let them see you writing as well. They will gain interest in something their parents do and it will inspire them when they see you writing. Parents can even talk about what you are writing about or why you are writing. Since writing can be used almost everywhere, it will help them understand this and why it’s important to practice writing as well.
There’s a difference between encouraging them to write and forcing the child to write. In an educational setting, parents may be more prompt with asking children to write. However, when it’s done even outside of education, it can become bothersome for them. Of course, children need to practice whenever they can. And they can do that with writing outside of education without it being forceful. Try letting the child help with signing greeting cards for birthdays or gifts. They can also help with listing down what they need when their parents go shopping. Even telling stories and scribbling them can also be a good way to practice. Rushing them will only pressure the child. Instead, gently encourage them and be mindful of your words and actions.
Message boards can be a good way to use to inspire children to write messages for the family. When children see the messages their parents or siblings have written on the board, they will also want to write their own messages. Put the message board somewhere everyone has access to such as the kitchen or dining area. Aside from using it for messages, the child can also be in charge of writing weekly schedules or errands. This will not only encourage the child to practice writing but also give the child a sense of responsibility.
Writing in journals or diaries isn’t just a good way to practice writing, it’s also a way for the child to organize their thoughts and feelings. When they put that in writing, they may also find clarity with what they are feeling, especially for adolescents who are going through a lot of changes. Encourage the child to start one so they can have somewhere to write their likes and dislikes, record what happened throughout their day, or even just share what they are feeling. However, even if the parents encourage keeping a journal or diary, they should still exercise and practice letting the child keep their privacy. Sometimes, there are things in a child’s diary or journal that they may not want to share with their parents. If this is the case, don’t force them to share it with you.
Even the best of writers wasn’t born with pen and paper, ready to write the best book or story. Be patient in helping your child so they will also exercise patience when writing down things for projects or exercise. It wouldn’t do anyone good if they rush through writing without ample preparation and inspiration. As such, when the child is just starting to write, let them also take their time building up their fundamentals instead of rushing them. They will feel more secure in their writing skills and abilities when they have sufficient time to practice and improve.
The same way goes for every other subject or skills the parent is helping their child with. As we have mentioned before, helping is not the same as doing the work for them. It’s understandable that parents may sometimes get frustrated with the amount of time the child is taking and take over. However, this will not help the child at all. This is especially true for a project or task that has to be submitted and graded as theirs. Additionally, do not also rewrite the child’s work if they didn’t ask for it. They should receive feedback for their writing rather than high marks for something not theirs.
Since the child is only starting to learn how to write and read, they still have a long way to go and will need time to learn how to spell new words they have just come across with. When this happens, parents shouldn’t dissuade them or give any negative feedback as it is a sign of progress. Most children will have to guess how to spell a new word they just heard and most commonly they will spell it the way it is spoken. With this, the child is becoming aware of phonics which is a sign of improvement. Help the child by gently correcting their spelling mistakes and practicing memorizing those misspelled words.
The last and most important tip is to remember that writing is a skill that continuously evolves and develops as we grow and continue to use it. Give the child the support he/she needs and help them with opportunities that can open them up to practice writing. They may not be the best writer in primary school but when they continue to develop their skills, they can become stronger as time goes by.
FamilyTutor is an established home tuition agency in Singapore! We match suitable home tutors for our clients not just to improve the students' academic grades, but also to build a strong rapport and meaningful relationship with the students and even the their whole family. FamilyTutor put every student in good hands!
If you need an excellent home tutor, feel free to call/WhatsApp us at +65 8777-2168! Our matching service is free!