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Ways to Enhance Your Child's English Writing

By: Sarah Folega - Updated: 24 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Child Writing Learn Enhance Praise

Just as reading helps your child’s language skills, so does writing. From the first time your baby scribbles on the wall to your pre-schooler writing their own name, children have the uncanny ability to pick up this important skill with great ease.

Writing will be part of your child’s life every day at home, and at school. Writing is a lifelong skill that your children will continue to use as they step into adulthood. So, it is essential that you encourage your child to write as much as you can, and from the very beginning.

Developing Writing Skills

When your child starts scribbling, they are not just creating a mess on the paper, (although it may look like it!). Your child is actually developing primal handwriting skills. This skill is enhanced further as they get older, and as they perfect their fine motor skills. However, learning to write sentences, applying punctuation and spelling correctly is a little harder. This is mainly because your child may find it hard to concentrate on all three areas at once. At the beginning your child is going to make mistakes. Rather than focusing on the wrong spellings or the missing punctuation, praise the fact that your child has been able to construct a sentence.

How Can I Help My Child At Home?

Of course, your child will need to learn how to write properly at some stage and there are ways you can help:

  • Spending quality time with your child just chatting about your day is a great way to enforce the need for communication. This gives your child a different view of the world around them and will teach them how to show, and talk about their feelings.
  • Reading to your child is a wonderful way to show your child how words, sentences and paragraphs are constructed. As they get older, they will also be able to take in how authors use grammar and punctuation. Don’t get stuck on reading fiction; why not read excerpts from the daily newspaper or an interesting magazine.
  • We know that children learn from example. So, when you get involved in writing, so will your children. Don’t worry it doesn’t have to be a novel! Why not sit together and write the shopping list. You could draw the pictures and see if your child can write or copy the word next to it.
  • Creating fun, exciting writing opportunities for your child is a great way to get them involved. Are there any invitations that need writing? Or perhaps it’s Christmas and those cards need writing and sending out. Giving your child a real reason to write is a good confidence boost.
  • White paper can become boring pretty quickly. So, encourage your child to write more by having a large selection of writing materials. Get lots of different coloured pens, pencils, glitter pens and so on and let their imagination run free.
  • After your child has completed a piece of writing, no matter how large or small, read through it together and discuss what they have written.
  • Try not to dwell too long on any mistakes your child has made, praise them for trying and pick out the positive points to reinforce their confidence and ability.

It’s important to remember that writing is a difficult skill to learn. However, your child should cope well if given the attention, and the chance to shine at home as well as at school. Take pride in your child’s ability to learn, and make sure you have plenty of fridge magnets and spaces on the cupboards to display their wonderful work!

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