Top tips for writing at home

August 15, 2016

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The summer holidays can be a great time to encourage children to practise their writing skills while having fun at the same time! Here are some tops tips to get started…

Start young

It’s very important for your child to start writing from a young age, and we don’t mean just writing stories but writing anything at all! It doesn’t matter if they don’t finish writing the stories, as long as they’re practising their own stories as much as they possibly can and creating something unique.

Encourage their love of reading

Reading books to a child is a great way of sparking their imagination, even to an older child. Once children learn to read, you’re sometimes tempted to let them get on with it, but if you read a book with a child or put on a tape, you’re enjoying the book with them. You’re sending a message that books are important, reading is important, and therefore writing is important. Encouraging them to enjoy stories is the starting point to sparking their imagination.

Write about real life

What they write doesn’t need to be fictional; if it helps them to put pen to paper, ask them to write about something exciting that happened lately. Encourage them to use vivid, emotive language. Once they’ve done this they can move onto making up their own stories where they can let their imagination take control

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Know how long an activity is going to take

Short and frequent learning activities can keep your child stimulated for longer and maximise the retention of information. For example at Explore Learning, a written activity will take no more than 15 minutes, therefore the children know how long they are expected to write for and feel more motivated to complete the task.

Rewards

If children are going to be rewarded for doing writing at home they should know exactly what the reward is and what they need to do to achieve it. For example at Explore Learning children rewarded for concentrating and for doing their best.

Praise, praise, praise

It is very important to give praise and encouragement for every little achieve. This might be sitting down and concentrating, completing a written activity independently or simply not complaining about sitting down and writing. Every child is different and therefore praise should be given for individual achievements.

Make up stories about people they know

Some children may struggle to come up with characters’ names and personalities so to resolve this encourage them to write about their favourite characters from TV or film – or perhaps one of their friends or family.

Don’t get too bogged down in grammar

Of course grammar is essential later in life, but grammar can’t and shouldn’t prevent creativity. It shouldn’t stop a child’s imagination running free and putting down in writing something special. Sadly, being self-conscious about poor grammar and spelling can create an insecurity that acts as a barrier to potentially great work. Quite simply, if a child starts their creative writing by thinking they have to be perfect, they won’t express themselves in the way they want to. At Explore Learning, grammar isn’t the first thing we focus on: in our Creative Writing classes it’s all about ideas. What’s important is that you’ve got some brilliant ideas that aren’t ‘dumbed down’ by an inability to express yourself perfectly grammatically.

Avoid the TV

Getting children to love reading and writing can prove to be a challenge, especially with television, films and games being it’s most harsh competitors. Having some family reading time can be very powerful. If your child sees you replacing TV with books then they are more likely to be inspired to get excited about it too.

Come along to a FREE TRIAL to find out Explore Learning can help encourage your child’s love of writing!

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