Having solid writing skills gives your child the foundation necessary for every subject in school. Her writing progresses from random scribbles as a toddler to more recognizable shapes before she begins writing letters, words and sentences. No matter where your child is in the writing process, simple activities at home help her improve those skills.
Computers and cell phones replace many opportunities for writing in your daily life, so your child might not see you pick up a pen often. Instead of making your grocery list on a phone app, pull out some paper and write it yourself. Hand write a letter to a friend you haven't seen for years. A note to your child makes her feel special and shows her the impact of writing. Your modeling shows your child that writing is more than a chore she has to do at school, according to the National Council of Teachers of English.
Real-Life Writing Opportunities
Engaging in her own real-life writing tasks outside of school is another way for your child to improve her skills. A journal is a tool to encourage her to write everyday. She gets to write however she wants inside the covers of the journal, unlike school writing where she has to follow guidelines. A letter to a friend or relative is another authentic writing experience for your child. Encourage her to write a thank you note for a gift she received. Another idea is list writing. Let her write a birthday wish list or her own grocery list.
A writing area in the home keeps all of the materials she needs handy. Whether she feels like scribbling or writing a detailed story, she has paper and pencils ready at all times. Envelopes in the area encourage her to write letters to family members or friends. Scholastic suggests adding other elements to the center, such as a chalkboard or a bulletin board. A mailbox made from a cardboard box lets your little one write letters and "send" them right at home.
Your reaction to your child's writing impacts her confidence in the area. If you criticize her for little mistakes or try to redo her work for her, she may feel her writing isn't up to par. Even if you're trying to motivate her to improve, your criticisms could have the opposite effect. Instead, point out where she excels in writing. Praise her for writing a complete sentence or writing her letters correctly. If you pick apart all the little details, writing isn't fun and she may do it less.
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