Writing is one of the most important skills that your child can develop. From drafting resumes to communicating with family members on social media, almost everyone uses writing in their day-to-day lives.
Along with learning penmanship, kids need to develop strong vocabularies and learn the basics of sentence structure. By building good habits in their formative years, kids can remain strong writers throughout their lives. Here are five tips to help your child build up these good habits.
- Play word games.
Writing doesn’t have to be frustrating if it becomes fun. Try to take some of the more complicated aspects of the English language and turn them into games that help your child learn. These can be fun rhymes, like “we will whether the weather” or challenges to identify the differences between “which vs witch” or “advisor vs adviser.”
Many adults struggle with basic word choice (like your and you’re). If your child can learn the differences at a young age in a creative way, they can have strong grammar skills for life.
- Make writing a daily activity.
If you only associate writing with school, then your child might not find the connection between that skill and real life. As a parent, you can show how valuable writing abilities are by making them part of day-to-day activities.
There are several ways to do this. Ask your child to help you write a grocery list to work on spelling and penmanship. When you travel (even to a local museum or landmark) pick up postcards so they can write to friends.
On Sundays, pick up church supplies that have writing primers and biblical activities for kids. These steps will improve their writing skills while making the process enjoyable.
- Find a pen pal.
There are many benefits to finding pen pals. You can meet people from across the country (or just down the road) and share different cultures and life experiences. Pen pals can also help kids improve their writing skills. Along with covering basic skills like spelling and handwriting, a pen pal will teach your child how to tell stories. How can they describe their room? What can they say about their birthday celebration?
Plus, your child may be more excited to write to this far-away friend than to write to you or their teacher.
- Introduce new vocabulary words frequently.
As a parent, you can determine how fast your kids learn and what they are exposed to. One thing that you can try is to improve their vocabulary. Throughout the day, introduce new words that your kids might not know or challenge them to remember words they learned in school or at home. For example, when it is raining, your child might explain that it is pouring or drizzling. Rain boots can also be referred to as galoshes or wellies. These words are fun and improve your child’s overall vocabulary.
- Spend time reading together.
Reading ability can help improve writing ability. When kids read, they learn new words and better understand how sentences are formed. If they hold the book, they can start to identify letters and words to know how they are spelled.
Make reading part of a daily ritual. You can read together for at least 10 minutes each night, whether you read aloud part of a chapter book and they listen or they read an age-appropriate book and you follow along to make sure they don’t get stuck.
Your child doesn’t necessarily need to write full-page journal entries to grow their skills. They will become better writers if they can spell, put together stories, and help with basic writing tasks around the house.