How to help child in writing

26 Mar

I have been trying to have my son to write more. I think it is a critical skill for kids to have, no matter what they decide to do when they grow up.

I found this wonderful article series on ThisReadingMama. It shares some very good thoughts and tips on helping kids to write. Now thinking back, I realized I have done something wrong before.

Here is what I learned:
1. We should make the kids feel they are the author, meaning they decide what they want to write. It doesn’t mean we cannot offer ideas, but we should respect kids being the author.
2. A good way to help kids coming up ideas and structure their thoughts is to model the writing process. We work with the kids, think aloud, so they can hear our thinking process, and know how do we structure our thoughts.  Kids need know it is not a linear process, and it is ok to change from your original plan.
3. A good tip I learned is, when reading books together, discuss how other authors put together their stories. How did they start the story? How did they make the transitions between chapters, so the readers stay hooked? How did they end the stories? Before, when we talk about books, we mostly just talk about the story itself, now I know we should also talk about the writing.

I have only finished two articles in the series. If you are trying to help your child in writing, I highly recommend reading the whole series. I’d love to hear what do you think about her articles and what is your tip of helping kids to write more.


80 Responses to “How to help child in writing”

  1. Christine Peets May 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    I teach creative writing and am looking to adapt my “Unleash Your Inner Writer” course to kids and teens. Reading these comments gives me some great ideas, and I’d love to hear more from you and your readers about this. The course as it’s set up now is a series of four (4) one-hour webinars. I gave some assignments between the first two, and then encouraged folks to just keep writing using those exercises, and then to get in touch with me if they wanted any feedback.
    It’s all done with the GoToMeeting video conferencing so they hear my voice and see my PowerPoint slides. There’s an opportunity to ask questions at the end.
    Do you think this format would work with kids and teens?
    Please e-mail me, Christine(at)CaptionsCommunications(dot)ca with your feedback on this.

  2. cherylfoston June 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    Great post and wonderful information you give in each post you write. Thanks, for sharing!

  3. Holistic Wayfarer August 10, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Thanks for the support. =) You might want to add the “a” before “child”. I bring it up only because it’s your post title. Go ahead and delete this comment. And thanks for all the wonderful info.

  4. reocochran October 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    I always look to see if you have some new informative posts! I like to read your ideas although, I don’t teach anymore! Thanks for your “likes” on my posts!

  5. ronaleer October 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    My children love to write using their left hands, like me. But I want them to write using their right hands. Is there anything wrong with that? As usual, thanks for this post about mom and kids. 🙂

    • Michael Kelley (Mr. K) October 5, 2013 at 3:34 am #

      Few people are naturally ambidextrous. It is a definite leg up in life to be able to think and work from both sides of your body. There is nothing wrong with encouraging the use of the non-dominant hand. You’ll know if it comes natural enough.

      If they are successful, there are other things they may enjoy, using either hand, as well.

      Learning to sky-write, bounce a ball, spin a disc and, sky-write backward all with the non-dominant hand may help them develop their ambidextrous writing skills.

      Good Luck and Happy Teaching!

  6. jasondave February 3, 2014 at 5:49 am #

    i see to it that i speak to very young children like toddlers and very young school children in ways which are educative, simple, serious and also fun depending on the need.

  7. vgarrison77 February 3, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    Thank you for stopping by my blog! Your blog is full of wonderful information, I will be coming back to read 🙂

  8. lauzlau February 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    I like the advice on helping kids read (mimic what you hear listening to someone else read). I tried mimicking the high notes in a song (I’m no singer) & was surprised how much it helped. When a child discovers he can create a story, I think that would boost his interest in reading. You are sharing wonderful advice for all children. I am glad you liked my Valentine post.

  9. omegamothertheresa March 4, 2014 at 12:29 am #

    I had a question on your first point. As I am doing a project with kids that involves writing. I would like to know how to better make the kids feel like authors so that they would be more intrinsically motivated to write and be more creative. (The kids I’m working with are in elementary school) Any pointers or tips would be nice.Thanks.

  10. jessabelltuminelli June 26, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    WOW!! I wish I had followed your blog when my kids were little!! Great advice!!

  11. misomommy July 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. My oldest is only three now, but I hope to pass on a love of writing. Thank you for checking out my post the other day. I look forward to reading more of your insights on teaching our kids with fun!

  12. Paddastoel October 5, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Your post got me thinking.

    I don’t think a love for writing develops in a vacuum.

    The thing is, your interaction with your child with regards to writing needs to be age appropriate.

    For older children, fanfiction may be an awesome way of improving their writing skills.

    But what do you do for younger children, who can’t quite discuss plot devices and character development with you? I guess you could start doing this in simple ways with your toddler, but what about pre-toddlers?

    My daughter is seven months old and when she was about six months old, she started picking up pens on the desk when she sits with her dad in front of the computer. So, I duly replaced the pens with non-toxic crayons and made sure that there was some scrap paper on the desk. She has been drawing lines for a while. Also, she absolutely loves striking the keyboard. I have always wanted a type writer (I just enjoyed the feel more) so I think I will get one sometime for her benefit.

    I think that reading AND writing is an experience. You should enjoy the feel of the pen, love the smell of the paper, love the feeling of the keys below your fingers when you type.

    So, for younger children, I would advocate drawing as a means of encouraging writing. As soon as they are able to, you can ask them to tell you about the picture – and the narrative before and after the snapshot. Where? Why? What? When? How?

    Perhaps even singing can be used in younger children to advance their love for stories and writing? Rhythm development could assist in developing their pre-disposition for poetry and descriptive prose.

    As stated in my last post, I am planning to review some toys and baby proofing products. I want to integrate this to some degree with my planned posts on pro-actively managing ADHD in young children without the use of medication. Perhaps you can have a look and share your thoughts?

    I took two things in particular from your above post:
    – To always allow one’s child to take and feel ownership of their work (this is sometimes difficult to remember and practice) and
    – Sitting with your older children and teaching brain storming techniques (mind maps, summaries, etc.) could be very useful.

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