Helping Your Child Develop their Writing Skills

This is a collaborative post

Writing is a vital part of everyday life, and something we take for granted. It’s a practical skill that allows us to complete ordinary, daily activities, like sending emails at work or filling out a form at the doctor’s surgery. It’s also important in education and can determine how well a student performs in their exams and other assessed work. However, writing is actually quite a difficult skill to learn, so it’s important for parents to help give their children a head’s start at home. Read on for some tips from an independent school in Sussex.

Make sure that you have lots of writing materials available for your child in your home, such as crayons, paper, pencils, notepads, gel pens etc. It might also help if they have a dedicated space just for writing activities, as this might inspire them. Encourage them to write their name regularly and perhaps stick up an alphabet chart somewhere in your house. You should also try and expose them to lots of reading materials, like books and magazines, so that they can become more familiar with different vocabulary and varying sentence structures. 

Try and encourage your child to write as much as possible. For instance, if you are nipping to the shop, ask them to write a shopping list for you. Have a message board up in the kitchen or another communal area in the house where you can pin up reminders and notes for one another. Once they have finished reading a book, as them to write a book review. After their birthday or Christmas, encourage them to send thank you cards to people for their gifts. You could also suggest that they keep a diary and write about their day each evening before bed. As with most things, practise makes perfect, so the more they write, the better they will become. 

Be sure to praise your child when you read their writing, rather than focussing on spelling mistakes or other errors. For instance, you can say “well done, this is a really descriptive/thoughtful/creative/original piece of writing”. Children thrive on positive reinforcement, so the more you can compliment their efforts, the more likely they will want to write again in the future. However, it’s important to be patient with your child as it’s not an easy skill to master. Give them time to think and prepare before rushing them into a writing project.

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