During the eight years I taught creative writing to homeschooled students, the most common question parents asked me was "How do I get my child to write?"
While some children seem naturally drawn to writing, others struggle to put even a few words down on the page. Some parents describe their efforts to teach writing skills as a constant battle. Fortunately, this is one battle parents can win by following these five simple suggestions:
- Know Your Objective: Writing is a form of self-expression and communication. The primary goal, then, isn't to complete a particular writing assignment. Instead, it is to help your child discover the joy of writing.
- Utilize Technology: Some children are truly averse to the act of putting pen to paper. These kids often thrive, however, when allowed to use the computer. If they can't type, they can dictate their essay or story to you, or record it on a digital recorder.
- Allow Choice in Writing: The quickest way to turn children off to writing is to require them to write about something boring. Instead, encourage them to select topics that interest them.
- Allow Choice in Reading: Just like with writing, children need to choose books that engage their interests. Forcing a child to read a book he doesn't like will turn him off to reading, and a child who writes is a child who reads.
- Make Writing Fun: To help children fall in love with writing requires flexibility and creativity on your part. If your child is resistant to writing an essay, try something different, such as writing a family history, short story, comic book, or different forms of poetry.
Remember, teaching your children to write does not need to be a struggle. Try these ideas at home and discover how fun writing can be.