Does your child argue with you, throw tantrums, daydream, create distractions…or just, plain, refuse to write?
Most children avoid writing for one or more of the following reasons:
* They don’t see any reason for writing
* They don’t think they can spell
* They are not having the right things said to them about their writing
Just knowing what to say and how to say it will get you on the road to improving your child’s writing skills.
Let’s look at the first two reasons why children don’t like writing:
They don’t see any reason for writing
So think about different ways you can get your child writing purposefully as well as for fun.
One idea: Start writing short notes to your children or other family members to let them know, for example, about something delicious you’ve put somewhere. Make them fun and hide them in unusual places, like the fridge. After a while your child will begin to see writing as fun and purposeful, and will want to have a go himself.
They don’t think they can spell
Get your child over spelling hang-ups by not making a big deal about spelling. Your child is probably not an accurate speller…but may well be a phonetic speller, which is an essential stage on the journey to becoming an accurate speller. This stage needs to be valued, not condemned.
Now the third reason many children don’t like writing:
They are not having the right things said to them about their writing
I’ve listed this as the third reason but it’s actually the Number One reason why children won’t write!
So learn to say the right things about your child’s writing. You need to give positive feedback to your child. This is not saying That’s great every time your child writes another torturous sentence. He knows this isn’t true.
Instead say something like I like the way you mentioned…. or I like your idea about… Ask a question about the content of his writing, such as…Does this person remind you of anyone? or Why did you choose to write about horses? or What’s going to happen next in your story?
Your comments and questions are equally important for improving writing skills. You need to do both. It will take you a little while to perfect your skill at this so just aim for one question (about the content) and one positive comment as above.