There’s no doubt about it – good writing skills are keys to success. From resumes to business letters, writing skills can greatly influence your child’s future. In addition, he or she will be more likely to perform better in school if he or she has good writing skills.
So what can you do to help your child develop writing skills? Here are some tips.
1. Read to Your Child – Interactively
Most parents know that reading to your child is important for developing all language skills, including writing. But research shows something interesting: how you read to your child matters.
It’s good to read often and to read quality books, but studies show that it’s equally important to allow the child to participate in some way. Some ways you can let your non-reader participate are to ask your child questions about the story as you read, point out objects in the book’s illustrations and ask your child to name them, or ask your child to re-tell the story (or portions of it) in their own words.
2. Easy Access to Writing Materials
Encourage your child by having paper, markers, pencils, crayons, and so forth handy. For paper, you can use both lined and unlined. A well-lit table or other level surface should be available all the time.
3. Talk about Drawings
Attach words to images. Ask your child to describe their drawings by asking specific questions. See if he will tell you a story about the picture, or if he will draw other pictures to illustrate progressive action.
4. Comic Strips
Reading the comics is a great way to get your child to read from left to right. The colorful, fun images and easy-to-read lettering tend to appeal to children, too.
Type or write while your child tells the story. Ask him or her to come up with a story about a pet, drawing, friend, family member, place, or whatever interests her. Then write it down and read it together. If she hasn’t illustrated it, ask her to draw some pictures about the story.
6. Include Your Child in Everyday Writing
Let your child write something on the grocery list, or sign birthday cards. She can write down chores on a list, too. A dry-erase board is great for this.
7. Writing Games
Play with your child so that she can write. If you have a pretend store set up, she can write the price stickers. Is your child interested in roads and highways? She can make road signs for the hallways and rooms. Maybe she could write up a menu so you could play restaurant. Get creative, and she won’t even “know” she’s writing!
With a little creativity, you may just have a budding writer on your hands! Hopefully, your child will do better in school and succeed in life because of his or her writing skills.