How to help your child with their writing skills

Writing is an integral part of our lives. For school aged children, writing isn’t just confined to the subject of English either. It is integrated into all parts of their education. In Mathematics you need to be able to write numbers and explanations and subjects like Science use writing for research and descriptions of the world around us.

Finding ways to integrate writing skills into your child’s life from an early age will give them a good foundation from which to develop. Here are six ideas to help your child with their writing skills.

Encourage writing for a variety of purposes

Think about the situations in which writing takes place. Yes, there will be the opportunity to practise writing skills with homework and school projects. But what are some other less obvious opportunities?

You could get your child to choose a recipe to make and write a shopping list of all the ingredients that you need to purchase. Encourage a written thank you letter or daily gratitude note. The length of the piece of writing is not important, it’s the fact that they are practising!

You might also encourage the use of a diary or if you are going away a travel journal is a great way to encourage descriptive writing.

Write a short story together where you each take turns to contribute a short paragraph, without knowing exactly what the other person has written before you. Not only will you be practising writing skills together, you are sure to have a good laugh in the end!

Create the time and space to write

Does your child feel inspired to pick up a pen? Think about different ways that will encourage your child to write. Actually making the time to write is a difficult one in our fast paced lives, but using some of the ideas above, you can easily incorporate writing into your everyday life.

Creating a space for writing can be a fun activity to do together. Does your child need a desk? Or a comfy corner full of cushions? Perhaps you could go shopping together to purchase coloured pens and pencils or different types of paper.

Connect writing to something that they love

How can you make writing fun and engaging? Like all things in life, if we enjoy doing something, we will do it more often and eventually improve as we are constantly practising! If your child loves action figures they could write their own comic. If they like reading mysteries, perhaps putting together a treasure hunt or creating a detailed map would help them improve their writing skills.

Explore different types of writing

There are so many different ways that writing can be woven into our lives. As writing and reading are so closely intertwined, choose different types of writing to read together before bedtime. Think about options like comics, poetry, non-fiction and fiction books.

Encourage the use of a wide vocabulary

Take a look at your own language skills. When you are talking together, use words that your child may not know the meaning of and be descriptive in what you are talking about. Exposure to a wide range of words will help them when they sit down to write.

Create story prompts

This is a fun activity to do together! Grab a magazine, cut out some pictures and stick them on cards. Do the same with headlines and even a sentence or two from the text. You can then use the cards as prompts to create a story or any piece of writing you choose.

Remember, writing isn’t just about sitting down and creating a story. Writing can be adapted for all sorts of activities!

Leap into Literacy uses a combination of fun creative techniques that aid retention, foster independent learning and promote students’ future success. Our workshops assist kids’ reading confidence and enhance their creative writing abilities. If you would like to know more about how we can help with your child’s writing skills, book them in for a  free trial lesson.