The New Year is a great time to look at what we’re doing as parents, teachers, or homeschoolers. I am all about goal setting in my homeschool. One of my main areas of focus in 2018 is writing.
I frequently hear from parents who have a hard time getting their kids to write. Actually, if I am being honest, I have one child who I have to beg to write. Even though he loves books and has a mother who is an author, he still isn’t a huge fan of writing. A lot of this stems from motor skills delays. I will get into that later in the article, but motor skills delays cause frustration when writing for a lot of kids.
Parents worry so much about writing, but there are so many ways to encourage your kids to write. Here’s a few that I hope help you!
- Use Writing Prompts. I’ve linked to some that I created on this site, but you can find more all over the web. Sometimes, the hardest part about writing is just getting started.
- Use voice typing software. Google Docs has free, built-in voice typing software as long as you use it with Chrome. All three of my kids enjoy writing this way. Their vocabularies are bigger when speaking than when writing and their hands don’t tire when voice typing. This is especially true for my eldest, who has a variety of motor skills delays. His brain and his hands don’t work on the same level. If he’s asked to hand write something, it’s like pulling teeth to get a few sentences out of him. With voice typing, he can write a five paragraph essay.
- Expose them to lots of great books. Good readers make good writers!
- Buy them cute notebooks and fun pencils or pens. For some kids, a unicorn notebook or a rocket pencil make all the difference.
- Cut pictures out of magazines and ask your kids to create a story about the picture. It would be easy to fill a notebook with several pages like this to make this an easy to repeat activity. I did this activity with my Creative Writing students at co-op and they loved it. Just make sure to choose pictures that lead to story telling. A head shot of a man in a business suit is harder to tell a story about than a photo of a dog wearing a tutu.
- Play storytelling games like Story Cubes or Create a Story. Telling stories aloud gets kids in the right mindset to write.
- Allow them to write about their interests. If you have a child who is obsessed with dinosaurs or ballet, it’s okay if a lot of their writing includes this interest. It might be boring for you to read 23 dinosaur stories in week, but a lot of authors have made careers out of such things.
How do you encourage your kids or students to write? Let me know in the comments!