As parents we are excited and at the same time terrified of the first time our child will walk through the doors at school. The years leading up to this grand event will reveal how prepared your child is. Reading and writing, though they have a long way before they are mastered, are critical components when starting school. From the first-grade throughout adulthood writing will be critical for your child’s success.
Benefits of Helping Your Child Learn to Write
Helping Your child learn to write will provide them extra motivation to do well in school, they will enjoy self-expression and become more self-reliant.
Sometimes we take writing for granted but if you take a moment to consider the benefits of writing you may find it is:
- Practical – Writing is practical, for many people they are lost without their “to do” lists and post-it notes. Jotting down reminders, notes and instructions increases daily productivity.
- Job-Related – Writing is work-related; preparing memos, letters, papers, emails, reports, articles, proposals and the like. Most workers do “some” writing on the job.
- Stimulating – Writing helps to provoke thoughts and to organize them logically and concisely.
- Social – Social networking is very popular and continues to grow. Writing emails, Tweets, Facebook updates, thank-you notes and letters are an important part of our social lives.
- Therapeutic – Writing is soothing and helps calm the nerves. Sometimes it is easier to express feelings through writing than by speaking.
Unfortunately, you can’t rely on school to provide sufficient instruction in teaching children to write. There are various reasons; teachers aren’t trained properly, writing classes are too large, it is difficult to measure writing skills, etc. Several studies show that students’ writing lacks organization, clarity and coherence. As many as 1 out of 4 children have serious writing difficulties and as they progress through school writing is less liked.
As a parent you can make a difference and when teaching your children to write it is your goal to make it easier and more enjoyable.
Pointers for Helping Children Learn to Write
- Place to Work – You need to be able to provide a place for your child to work. Somewhere with a smooth, hard surface with adequate lighting for them to write.
- Writing Materials – Provide plenty of paper and things to write with; pencils, pens, markets and crayons. Kids like to mix it up a bit so have a variety of tools available.
- Time – Good writers do a great deal of thinking. Your child may dawdle a bit before sitting down and getting to work. Be patient-your child may be thinking.
- Interact – Respond to what your children write and make it clear that you are interested, remember writing is a way of conveying ideas. Focus on “what” is being written, not “how”. Don’t make a big deal out of minor errors, especially in the early stages of writing.
- Praise – Take a positive approach and say good things about your children’s writing. Is it thoughtful? Accurate? Descriptive? Interesting? Does it say something?
Teaching your children to be good writer does take time and effort but it will pay off in the end. Effective writing helps children succeed in school, communicate effectively and excel in the workplace. Invest in your children’s future by helping them learn to write.