Writing is crucial life skill, but it isn’t always easy to get your child to practice. If getting your child to write is proving a battle, some of these tips might help you.
1) Make Writing Fun
Your child might be reluctant to write because they think writing is boring. Prove them wrong by turning writing into a fun activity. You could do this by encouraging them to write letters to their favorite characters from T.V. or storybooks. If the time of year is right, you could also suggest writing a letter to Santa, or the tooth fairy or Easter Bunny. This sort of engagement can give your child a reason to want to write, and turn writing from a chore into a fun activity which seems an extension to play.
2) Use Magnetic Letters
Magnetic letters are tactile and fun to use. They are also bright colors which are attractive if you’re dealing with young children, and can help them engage with the letters from an early age. Even slightly older children may enjoy the flexibility of magnetic letters; they don’t require much “work” in the way that actually writing the letters does, so they can be a great place to start.
“Sticking magnetic letters on the fridge and encouraging kids to play around with them is a great subtle learning technique which can promote regular practice without the child really noticing they are learning,” suggests Natalie Birson, an educator at Lia Help and Paper Fellows.
3) Use A Chalk Board As It Might Be Easier Than Holding A Pen
Young children may struggle with the fine motor skills required for holding a pen, and if they get frustrated, they will quickly become demotivated and disinterested. Using a chalkboard or whiteboard can be a great alternative way of getting them to write. Encourage them to experiment and write out some of the letters for them to copy.
4) Reading Lots Of Books Together Might Help Your Child To Want To Write
If children start to see the pleasure in reading, they are more likely to engage with writing. Making literature fun from another angle can give you an “in” which captivates your child. You could encourage them to make up new stories based on books you have read with them, or to write down things about their favorite characters. Make up poems, or challenge them to come up with new adventures and write them down. You could even reward them for writing by reading their stories to them at bedtime!
5) Give Them A Special Book
Having a special book to write in might encourage your child to write more. Choose a really nice notebook and give it to them as a treat, and then find little writing activities to do together. You could even write ideas on the different pages, such as “On this page, let’s write ten words that start with the letter B.” “Having mini challenges like this and a special place for “their” writing is great for encouragement. You may also find your child is inspired by the idea of a secret diary – in which case, set them going and don’t be tempted to peek,” says Monica Liam, a writer at OX Essays and Write My Paper.
6) Write Little Notes
Write little notes to your child and encourage them to write back to you. You could hide these notes all over the house, turning writing into part of a treasure hunt, and perhaps including mini rewards for good clues. Get your child to tell you things about their day in note form, and reciprocate. They could write to you about their friends or what they have done at school, and you can tell them about your day.
7) Write With Them
If your child is struggling, make sure you’re engaging in the activity with them. Don’t set them a task and walk away, but sit down and help them. Praise the things they’re doing well, and don’t worry about spelling or neatness. Make writing an activity that they can enjoy. If they’re having trouble with it, try writing out short things for them to copy, or writing a sentence and getting them to fill in a couple of words. Being part of the activity with them is the best way to get them involved.
Writing doesn’t have to be a battle; make the activity fun for your child, and it will become fun for both of you. Your child will get more out of it if they’re enjoying themselves, so present them with challenges and get creative!
Katherine Rundell is a writer at Literature Review Help and College Paper Writing Service. She trained as a teacher in Iowa and has two decades of experience teaching high school pupils from all backgrounds. Katherine is now a tutor and educator at State Of Writing.