Help Your Child to Become a Better Writer
When it comes to educating your children, there is really no single subject more important than language. The ability to read and comprehend is essential to grasping all other subjects. And as children get older, skill with communication through their writing could spell the difference between success and failure in the classroom and in the workplace. So it behooves you, as a parent, to take the time early on to ensure that your kids are receiving a good foundation in reading and writing. While you can certainly leave it up to the schools to teach them, many children need extra help at home in order to perform at grade level. So here are a few ways that you can help your kids learn these crucial skills.
- Read with them. Getting your kids interested in reading early in life can make a huge difference in how they perform academically. But you need to lead by example. If you never read with your kids there’s a good chance they won’t become “readers” themselves. Even if you find the task boring, you should make the time each day to sit down and read to your children; and when they’re old enough, have them start reading to you. Take them to the library frequently, encourage their interests by helping them find books on the topics they want to explore, and basically show them that reading is good! Nothing will improve their writing skills more than a love of reading.
- Try a reading program. Some kids have a hard time learning to read by standard methods, which is why there are so many phonetics programs out there. So if your children seem to be struggling with reading and writing, seek alternative teaching solutions and consider having them tested for disabilities. There need not be a stigma attached to these difficulties; the earlier you diagnose the problem the sooner you can begin treating it.
- Join a word-of-the-day website. In order to be proficient at writing, kids need to be able to find the right words to express themselves. And a good vocabulary is the place to start. Although your kids will learn some vocab at school, joining a site that sends you a daily word is a great way to help your children further expand their vocabulary. So teach them a new word every day (complete with spelling and definition) and reward them for using it correctly.
- Try writing prompts. Writing is one of those subjects where kids can improve the more they do it. So create fun writing projects by giving your kids prompts and having them write a little bit each day. If you run out of ideas you can visit any number of websites that offer free writing prompts. Getting your kids in the habit of writing will only make their tenure in school easier as they are required to take on more and more essay projects.
- Practice, practice, practice. Going over spelling, vocabulary, sentence structure, and grammar rules may not be fun for you or your kids, but it is necessary to ensure a sound basis in the mechanics of language. You could argue that every word program out there has a spelling and grammar checker, so even if your kids don’t excel in this area they’ll probably be okay. But the truth is that these computer programs often make mistakes. Your kids are a lot better off putting in the time and effort to learn writing skills now, while they’re young. They’ll thank you when they get older and they have the skillset they need to compete in college and in their chosen profession.