Getting Your Child to Write
1. Letter Writing
In my opinion, it is much more beneficial for a child to WRITE a letter to a friend or relative than it is for them to email one. Encourage your child to write letters to friends and family members. Perhaps, your child might enjoy corresponding with a pen pal. Have them address the envelope, too. If possible, encourage the recipient to write back. Children love to get mail. A specific trip to the store makes the writing even more special. Have your child pick out his or her own paper, fancy stationery, pens, seals, etc. Going on vacation? Bring that address book and pick out some postcards when you've reached your destination.
2. Trip Journals
When leaving for a trip, give each family member a job. Assign your child to "trip journal captain" (or create your own special title for the job). Get your child to document these family trips. Allow him or her to pick out a travel journal from a stationery store. Starting with the date at the top, your child can document the activities of each day, quotes from other family members, and plans for the following day. Be sure to take lots of pictures, and maybe his or her travel journal notes can be used at a later time to complete a family scrapbook of the trip. What a great culminating project!
3. Encourage Journal Writing
Journal writing is a great way to get your child to write. Make a special trip to the store just to pick out a journal and fancy writing implements. Journal writing is a great way for your child to express feelings and/or document the fun days of summer. If your child wants to share his or her journal entries, listen to the entries with great enthusiasm. Ask questions. Be sure to mention your favorite part of their entry or a great word they used in their writing. Discuss your child's ideas and perceptions. Interact with the journal entry, and definitely praise the ideas put forth by your child. Maybe mom or dad can write a journal, too! This is a great way to model journal writing, and it is sure to make it more interesting for your child when it's time to share.
4. Write Stories Together
Maybe you and your child could take time out to write...together. Keep your writing interesting. Choose a different genre each time you sit down, or maybe you can write the beginning of a creative story for your child to write the ending. You can also set a timer and see how much you and your child write within that time. Increase the time each day so that your child learns to write with stamina. Have fun with it. When you enthusiastically participate in a writing activity with your child, your child will surely love the story when it's time to share.
5. Household Helper
Let your child help with household routines which require writing. Whether it's writing a shopping list that you dictate or a business letter, let your child help with the task. This lets your child see firsthand that writing is important and truly useful to adults.
6. Use Games
There are so many games available to help with writing. From Scrabble to internet games, experiment with them all.
7. Suggest Making Lists
Making lists is good practice for your child, and it also helps with keeping them organized. They might want to make a list of their CD collection, their goals for the day, or their collection of baseball cards. The possibilities are endless!
8. Magnets and MORE
Make magnetic letters and a large, magnetic surface available. Leave each other notes with the magnetic letters. Experiment with whiteboards, chalkboards, and other fun surfaces, too.
9. Encourage Copying
If your child likes a particular song, suggest writing the words down to help him or her to learn the lyrics. They can easily replay the song over and over again while jotting down the lyrics, line by line. Does your child have a favorite movie or play? Have your child write their favorite lines to the movie or play. Decorate it and frame it to be displayed in your child's bedroom or playroom.
10. The Quiet Time Game
A new twist on an old favorite... Set a timer, and spend a set amount of time absolutely quiet. Make writing the only way to communicate. Maybe a prize can be given to the "winner" of the game.
These are just a few ways to get your child to write for FUN. Try some with your little Mountz tiger and let me know how they go. Happy writing!