Encouraging Home Writing
BE INTERESTED: Be actively interested in children’s home writing for enjoyment, for information and for hobbies. Be accepting of emergent writing attempts and encourage older children as they learn to use new vocabulary. Let your child(ren) see you writing for pleasure and purpose
OFTEN! ALLOW TIME: Help your child spend time thinking about a writing project. Good writers do a great deal of thinking before putting pen to paper.
RESPOND: Respond to the ideas your child expresses verbally and in writing. Show that you are interested in the true function of writing which is to convey ideas. This means focusing on “what” the child has written, not “how” it was written. Take a positive approach and say something encouraging.
MAKE SPACE FOR WRITING: Provide your child(ren) with a well-lit space for writing along with writing supplies (pens, markers, crayons, pencils, colourful paper). Older children will benefit from access to a dictionary and thesaurus.
PLAY WORD GAMES: Play rhyming games with younger children and Scrabble with older ones. Try crossword puzzles too! Be excited about new words.
WRITE TOGETHER: Invite your child(ren) to write grocery lists, thank you cards, and letters. Encourage them to write events on the family calendar. Encourage journal writing to document events. Younger children may begin by drawing their ideas. Help your child(ren) with spelling and organization.
VISIT YOUR SCHOOL AND PUBLIC LIBRARIES REGULARLY: Reading and writing are intricately connected. Children learn to appreciate powerful writing by reading powerful literature. Talk about how the author engages the reader.
PROMOTE POETRY: A wide range of poetry is available. Some poems are serious and some are very funny. Some poems are short and some are long. Reading poetry aloud can inspire writing!
WRITE TO LEARN: Writing helps children to learn about themselves and others. Encourage your child(ren) to write information pieces (labeled diagrams, question & answer, research reports).