Prevent moan and groan when you ask your child to compose sentences or invent stories.
Writing is, of course, a critical skill for children to learn and is intricately tied to reading, which for many children is equally painful. It is a central part of the elementary-school curriculum — not just in language arts but in social studies, science, and even math. And yet there are many children who simply don’t take to writing. Far from being a natural and enjoyable process for these kids, writing can feel overwhelming, tortuous, and downright painful.
What’s should you do as a parent?
As a parent, you may be at a loss as to how to help your child get out of the writing rut. For many children it is all about visualisation and breaking the task down. A whole story is a massive mountain to climb, so break it down to one character, what so they look like, what do they enjoy, what are they about to do next. One small step is a massive one for your child as the story will unfold more easily with the help of visual prompts, do they have blonde hair, so they like running?
This “step by step” philosophy is shared by many teachers and writing experts as a useful tool for helping reluctant writers. That first step can simply mean breaking down a seemingly monumental task into smaller, more manageable parts.
Writing Prompts and Other Upsetting Assignments
A widely used tool in many school systems around the country is the writing prompt, also called a story starter. The idea is to jumpstart the writing process by providing a beginning point. Some examples might be “Last weekend I . . .” or “My summer vacation was . . .”
Yet the writing prompt assignment still strikes fear in the hearts of many struggling writers. The problem with many of the prompts, say teachers and parents, is that they are often vague and can still feel too big to kids. If a writing prompt begins generally, children can narrow it down with specifics, thereby making it seem smaller and less daunting. Take, for example, the prompt, “Write about something unusual that happened to you.”
- Ask your child: Do you want to write about something funny that happened? Something embarrassing? Scary?
- Then ask where this funny thing took place. Was it at school? At home? On the playground?
- Next, you might ask who else was there, if anyone. Friends? A teacher? A pet?
In this way, your children can progressively narrow the pyramid to a more manageable size.
Always make writing fun, tell them to use ambitious words and try to always write what you think. So many children think of an idea and then shorten it so that they have less stress when it actually comes to putting pen to paper.
I love the book it inspires to children to really enjoy embellishing their descriptions and takes some of the pain away to start with. There are all kinds of categories from people to places, and as you can see below can help really uplevel work.
As with any work your child is doing always make it fun. If your child could do with some additional creativity why not enrole them in our creative writing classes. Amazing for year 8 year to 12 year old and you will see their english marks shoot up as a result.