Tips to help your Middle/Senior Child with Writing
(Year 4 to Year 8)
- Read from a variety of sources. Reading and writing are linked – success in one supports success in the other. Read stories, articles, ads, instructions, etc. to your child and then talk about what you have read.
- Be a writing role model. Let your child see you writing when possible – letters, work assignments, letters to the editor, email. Help your child to understand about writing for different purposes like short stories, poems, letters, etc. Make sure they see all different types of materials such as books, magazines, newspapers, comic books and illustrated novels.
- Get children to write on their own. Capturing the day's events on paper or creating a story or poem is a great way for children to develop their own writing style. Let them write about their interests – it doesn't matter what the subject is.
- Encourage your child to write down ideas. A journal or diary is a simple way for kids to keep track of their thoughts or feelings. They can write about things that happened at school, on TV, news stories, pictures, sports, and activities. Journals can be purchased at the dollar store in a variety of sizes with different covers. Or for a special occasion, get one with a lock for private thoughts.
- Keep writing sessions short. When your child has a writing assignment, help to schedule brief periods of writing rather than trying to write it in one go. Help create an outline before putting pen to paper.
- Online writing. Encourage your children to write emails to or message with family and friends (with your approval).
- Computers can be a writer's best friend. Though we all feel that kids may spend too much time on the computer, there are some great games that help kids develop their writing skills by allowing them to create their own stories and books. Look for "parent approved" on the packaging in stores and in the library.
- Encourage your child to talk it out. Writing mistakes can often be easily caught by reading stories out loud.
- Listen and talk to your children. Help your child talk about what, where, when, how and why as they are preparing to write about something. If your child seems stuck, ask what the problem is and talk about it.
- Play games and do puzzles with your child. Games such as Junior Scrabble®, word finders or crossword puzzles that involve creating and using words are a great way to develop word vocabulary. Keep a dictionary handy.