Although your child is learning the basics of writing at school, the development of these skills must be encouraged at home, too. Luckily, it’s easy to support and nurture, there’s much you can do. Encouraging good writing habits will make a big difference in your child’s attitude to writing. Here’s how:
- Suggest a suitable place for your child to write and provide a writing toolkit with pens, paper and colours.
- Urge your children to write wherever possible! Shopping lists, birthday cards, and thank-you letters for gifts.
- Encourage them to write for fun too, about whatever they like. Silly stories, poems, letters to friends or a menu for a family meal. Talk to them about authors and the characters they create. Can they create their own characters and write a story?
- Provide learning opportunities outside the home environment such as local visits or interesting walks to give them something to write about.
- Talk through their ideas with them; help them discover what they want to say in their writing. When they ask for help with spelling or punctuation then give it positively.
- Use a variety of writing surfaces and mark making objects where possible, such as coloured pens, chalk, paint, and markers.
- Let your children see you write: notes to friends, letters to business, shopping lists and everyday stuff. Leave little notes around the house for them and encourage them to write back to you.
- Be realistic about spelling and grammar, if they are in full flow don’t kill their enthusiasm by pointing out mistakes. Words, sentences, and ideas should come first. Spelling and grammar second. Simply encourage your child to have a go at spelling words they are unsure of.
- Keep an eye out for fun writing competitions designed just for kids. The possibility of winning a cool prize is a great incentive to write.
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