Tips to help your child become a better writer
When your child shows you his/her writing be positive and use praise. They probably understand they need to improve but find the positive parts in their writing first.
How can I help my child?-
Take turns and read to your child. The more you read aloud, the more your child will hear what their writing should sound like. Reading aloud builds comprehension skills, a sense of voice, and much more.
Provide plenty of writing materials –
Keep paper, different colored pens, pencils, and highlighters in your home. This will invite your student writer to explore writing in original, colorful ways. Also, try to have a dictionary and a thesaurus handy.
Be a writer yourself-
You don’t have to be writing a novel to teach valuable writing strategies – a simple grocery list hold a dozen potential lessons on word choice, organization, and conventions.
Do you write as part of your job? Share some of your work related writing with your student writer. Your child will see how you write and it will be a great example.
Ways to work on writing skills
Be a good observer. Look for the little things. Ask your child this question, “What do you see through your eyes that someone in a rush would probably miss?”
We organize hundreds – make that thousands – of things in our lives, not just writing. Let your child help plan and structure as many things as possible, simple to complex. Talk about how you have to do these things in a certain order- first, next, last. For example: setting the table, reading a road map, planting a garden, writing or cooking a recipe, and writing a list.
When reading a book, telling a story, or watching a movie discuss what happened in the beginning, middle, and end. This will help you child organize their writing.
Be a listener. Talk about differences and favorites. How would this story sound if _________ read it? Does this writing sound like you?
These games will help your child include more details in his/her writing. This will improve their writing and make it easier for the reader to picture what they are writing about.
- Play word games. The synonym game – How many synonyms can you think of for big hungry... angry... dangerous... hot… nice?
- The rhyming game-- What rhymes with bold...leaf...sigh... over...now... funny...down...shower...run?
- The opposites game – What’s the opposite of meticulous...enraged... docile...frustrating...curious?
- The details game- Choose a noun and see who can come up with the most words that describes that noun. For example… apple- round, crispy, red, yellow, juicy, big.
As you’re composing, revising, or editing, read sentences aloud, and try out different versions. Have your child read their sentences aloud to make sure they make sense. Sometimes students might read it differently than they write it, point this out. We read and write the same way we talk.
Have students look over and use a check list to help them edit their writing.
For students who have trouble with their handwriting, keep practicing. You can buy writing paper from the dollar store. Students should practice with finger spaces between words, handwriting and letter formation.