Have you ever thought your child hates writing? We want our children to do their best. One area we can do this to encourage writing in our children from a young age. Here’s how!
From a young age, I loved to write. I remember being five years old and sharing my first story with my Aunt Mona. It was about a little girl who wanted a pony. She wrote it down and shared it with my parents. They still have that story.
They always encouraged my love for writing. And, as a mom, I want to encourage writing with my own children. But, how do we do that? Logistically we can’t keep every scribble or write down every word our children tell us. But we can encourage a love for writing no matter the age.
Listen for Passion
That story I shared with my aunt? I was passionate about it. I am sure I shared stories with her numerous times before, but there was something about THAT story that resonated in my heart. And she was smart enough to listen to that passion. I wasn’t brushed off because of my age, instead, I was encouraged and nurtured and that is what we need to do with our children.
This same tip can carry on throughout our children’s school years. I can tell when my daughter has a true story on her heart. I see the passion in her eyes, and I can feel the passion coming through onto the paper. I hear it in the way she shares with me what she is writing and I can sense it in the emotion on her face.
As you go throughout your homeschool day listen for that passion. Pay attention to it, be aware of it. Acknowledging that passion in our children is just one way to motivate a child to write.
I worked as a preschool teacher before becoming a homeschool mom and that job showed me how to use strategies to plan activities which encourage writing. One thing that I remember from my classroom that I was sure to implement into my home was teh importance of a writing center in preschool. We had one in every center in our classroom. In each basket, there were pencils and all different sizes and colors of paper. Throughout the day the teachers and aides encouraged the children to “write” down what they were dong. This could be notes to each other, grocery lists in the dramatic play area, pictures of their favorite books, or anything else they wanted to write. The children were always able to write down things that mattered to them. These were great early writing activities for preschoolers!
Provide your children with similar materials throughout your home. Give your preschoolers notebooks and pencils. Leave a basket out with paper for anyone to pick up and doodle or write. When you notice you have a child who loves to write give them a pocket-size notebook and encourage them to write down things that come to their mind while out and about.
If your child is older help them set up a writer’s portfolio. This can be a binder with folders or pockets. They can cut out magazine articles or pictures that inspire them. They can place their important pieces of paper inside. They can have sections separating different stories they are working on. Give them suggestions of what they may put inside then let them have the materials and run with their own ideas.
Materials are just one step in encouraging a love for writing but it is a very important one. How many times has something come to your mind only to be forgotten later? The same thing happens to our kids and as a writer, it is SO important to have resources available for when those sparks of creativity hit!
Wondering how to encourage your child to write stories? Nothing kills creativity more than someone else telling you how your story should look or sound. Believe me, I have had this done to me…. And I have done this to my kids. The result was me complaining that my child hates writing.
As homeschool moms, we are so used to critiquing our children’s work. I mean it’s our job, right? Yes, but when it comes to encouraging a love of writing we need to know when to butt out. And unless our children ask us for help with their writing we need to let them write to their heart’s content without interfering. This means no checking grammar or punctuation or spelling. It means listening and reading without offering our own thoughts and ideas. By doing this we are encouraging a love of writing in our children because they can write freely. They can come to us with their work and know that we will listen and read and enjoy their thoughts. Not critique or tell them what they could do better. IOnce that trust foundation has been laid they will one day ask us to critique. Believe me! But until then… butt out. Not heeding this advice could make our child reluctant to write.
Provide and Invest in Resources That Matter
Resources are important to writers. Ask them and chances are they will tell you what resources they use on a daily basis. For me, it’s Grammarly. For a good friend of mine, it is Evernote. But chances are every writer has a resource that truly matters to them.
For my children this year that resource is Write Shop. After my daughter took a creative writing class through 4H over the summer I knew I needed to invest in her love of writing, so we began looking into Write Shop. I quickly fell in love and was so excited to become an affiliate and brand ambassador for the program this school year.
There are multiple levels that fit a wide variety of ages. It includes reading suggestions, grammar tips, a breakdown of genres, games and other hands-on activities that encourage a love of writing in each and every lesson. It is a resource that I know will encourage a love of writing in my kids.
How to Motivate a Child to Write
Investing in resources and providing our children with high-quality programs and curriculum like Write Shop is just one more way we can encourage a love of writing in our children no matter their age.
So, want to encourage a love for writing? It starts with you! A parent who is willing to encourage their child, who knows the importance of providing their child with resources that will keep them engaged and learning. A parent who knows to listen for passion, yet also when to butt out.
Are you that parent? I believe you can be!
How do you encourage writing no matter the age?