Saturday, March 29, 2014

Helping Your Child Develop a Love for Writing

The Need for Writing 

Helping your child develop love for writing can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. Writing is not just putting words on a piece of paper. Writing is the most demanding form of communication as well as a complex process for students. In language learning it is the most difficult skill to acquire out of all the macro skills. It plays important roles in any country and culture. No country keeps records verbally and all records are documented in written form. Even the oldest of civilizations began documented information in written form. When students study history, early documentation and written accounts serve as the basis for studying early cultures.

Notably, helping your child develop love for writing is essential in strengthening academic preparations. Most kindergarten pupils are able to write simple words like their names along with other short vocabulary. What’s interesting is the fact that parents can actually start teaching their children to write as soon as they are able to hold a pencil or a crayon.
Drawing and scribbling are the earliest means of communication for a child. This begins when the kid is about three years old. As they scribble, draw or color, they are actually exhibiting improvement in both their motor and writing skills. At this age, parents can help by making pencils, crayons and paper available for practice. Children should be able to recognize letters and write lines or shapes by the time they enter school. This will give them the edge of learning faster and understanding better.

Suggested Activities to Improve Writing Ability 

As writing plays a major part in the child’s academic life, parents might actually end up pushing their children too hard rather than making writing enjoyable for them. It is essential to remember that learning is easier when it is fun.

The following are tips parents can use to help the child develop a love for writing:

Start Early 

Just like teaching a child to read, begin teaching writing as early as possible. As soon as children are able to hold a pencil, let them scribble. Give your child drawing books and make scribbling a favorite activity. As you go along, teach the kid how to hold the pen correctly. Provide a good space to write by making a child-friendly desk available. Make it a habit to devote time for writing with your child and introduce them to the beauty of the written word.

Don’t Rush 
Don’t teach kids to write letters right away. Though it is helpful for them to learn the alphabet early, it is better to start with drawing lines and shapes as this helps the child control the movements of crayons or pens depending on what is being used. When ready, don’t force your child to write the letters in order. Give them freedom to write whichever letters they have mastered first and help them with the ones they find difficult. You can do this by writing the letters yourself and making the child practice by following your lead.

Introduce Spelling
When done with letters, it is about time to teach your child how to write words. This can be made meaningful by making use of what the child knows. Ask about favorite animals and show the kid how to write out the names of their favorites. You can even integrate this with speaking by helping your child spell out the letters in a word orally. Don’t punish or criticize the child for any minor errors they may commit. Remember, this is the stage when they are just starting to get ideas together, so don’t scare them away by being excessively critical.

Be Innovative
Though children can learn easily, they get bored even faster than adults. Being able to write the letters and even words is not an assurance they will not forget them. You can teach your child to write by using puzzles and games which children respond quite well to. Improvise the ways to keep them interested as children love to learn something new all the time especially if it is being taught in innovatively unique ways. Reinforce learning through games like puzzles and pictures. To make it personalized, you can prepare your own set of flashcards based on the things your child has seen on recent trips or outings. This will expand your child’s knowledge about the real world we live in.

Provide Exposure
Children like to write as much as they like counting their first 100s. When your child sees you jotting down something on a daily basis, it is interpreted as something important. Make them see as you write reports on your laptop, or make a list of things to buy in the store. When the child is young enough, you can encourage making simple lists of things that they have done during the day. During holidays, making a wish list for Santa Claus can be exciting. As you go along, make writing one of the avenues for your child to express their feelings about their day in school, in a friend’s house or a visit to grandmother's house. If possible, try to enroll a child in a writing workshop designed for his age and level to further expand their exposure to writing at an early age. This will not only enhance their skills but also let them see the importance of writing to many people.

Points to Ponder 
Helping your child develop a love for writing can be both challenging and fun for parents. To raise a writer, let your child hold a pen or crayons and scribble freely. Play your part by taking time to sit with your child and teach writing on a daily basis. Children have short attention spans so make sure your sessions are fun, but consistent. As a parent, sometimes you may be just too busy to work with your child and educational videos can be extremely beneficial tools to teach in your absence. Consequently, as the child starts to appreciate writing, expect that they would write on whatever they can hold or wherever they are. Be watchful of your important notes, books and even your walls. To remedy this, plaster paper on the areas your kid can reach in their bedroom or make sure you give them water-based markers. This is perhaps the first sign they have mastered holding their pencils or crayons and wanted to show the world they do. Writing develops with practice as everything else in life. This, however, can bore the child. Give rewards and praises when they did something right, so that they will stay motivated. It is also extremely important to raise a child who will be self-directed to the path of writing and understanding.

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