Essential Information for Parents When Kids Are Learning to Write
While most parents recognise the importance of reading together, writing skills are not given nearly as much attention at home.
This is unfortunate as the Australian Educational Research Organisation recommends that primary school children spend five hours a week on writing activities.
On average, teachers spend only three hours per week on writing, with some devoting as little as 15 minutes a day specifically to this skill. More time is devoted to spelling in the classroom than any other writing skill.
While spelling is clearly important, children need to practice writing a variety of texts. Studies indicate that parental involvement can make a significant difference to kids’ writing skills.
Here are some simple, effective ways you can help your child learn to write.
Give Kids Reasons to Write
There are many opportunities for kids to practice writing at home. Give your child the chance to practice their skills by asking them to help write shopping lists and compose messages for birthday cards.
You can also leave fun notes around the house or have a whiteboard where family members write to each other. Include reminders, jokes and inspirational quotes on your board.
Write Stories and Poems Together
Like reading, writing can also be a fun, social activity. Start a regular story time with your child where you take turns composing a story or poem together.
Model writing skills for younger kids by transcribing their words as they watch. Another great way to help kids enjoy writing is to practice free writing. This involves asking kids to fill a page with whatever comes into their heads. Reward them for quantity, not quality. This is a great way to remove anxiety around writing.
Use a Variety of Fun Prompts
As your child becomes more comfortable with writing, fire up their creativity by giving them writing prompts for stories and poems. These can include anything, from pictures to household objects.
Make it challenging by selecting several unrelated objects they need to incorporate into their story. Another fun activity is to get your child to go on a treasure hunt to find something unusual for their prompt.
Encourage Kids to Read Aloud
Revising and editing their own work is an important writing skill that needs to be explicitly taught. The first step to helping your child develop this skill is asking them to read their writing aloud.
Reading their own writing helps children develop an ‘ear’ for how words flow. They will also spot spelling errors and grammatical mistakes when they read out loud because they must look at their writing closely.
Share Your Child’s Writing
Show your child how proud of them you are by displaying their writing in your home. You can hang it on the fridge or have a special place where it can be seen by visitors.
Another way kids can share their writing with family and friends is for parents to create a blog or website for them. This also allows kids to include pictures and special effects, increasing motivation.
Kick Your Child’s Writing Skills Up a Notch
Our tutors are equipped to help students become confident and skilled writers. They can assist with basic writing skills through to advanced essay writing.
A tutor can ensure your child is devoting enough time to build their writing skills, creating a strong foundation for future learning.
Contact us for a consultation today!