Ways to encourage your young child to write
Making notes, compiling a photo album with captions are ways to help your child practise their writing skills.
At a glance
- Kids need to understand that writing has a purpose.
- When you're writing something down, talk to your child about what you're doing and why.
- Praise your child for having a go at writing words that are new to them.
- Read your child's writing or get them to read their writing to you.
- When your child has writing tasks for homework, help them understand why they have been given the writing task.
You don't have to be an expert to help your child with writing. Simply supporting your child with the areas of writing that you feel confident with will benefit them.
When you're writing something down such as the shopping list, sending an email or filling in a form, talk to your child about what you're doing, why you're writing it and who you expect to read it. When writing at home, make it purposeful and interesting for yourself and your child.
It's essential that kids learn that we write for a purpose
It's important that your child understands who they are writing for and why they are writing. Purpose guides the way we write. For example, a note you write to your child about a job you want them to do when they get home from school will be different from a letter to the school about your child being sick.
Ways to encourage your child to write
- Read your child's writing or have them read their writing to you and make positive comments such as, 'I really like the way you've described this'.
- Praise your child for having a go at writing words that are new and show them how to spell harder words that they may not have been able to spell correctly.
- Talk to your child about why an author or filmmaker might create a book, play or film in a particular way. What ideas or opinions are presented? What is the author's purpose?
- Read and talk about the writing that your child brings home from school. Praise them for things they have done well. For example, writing an interesting story using colourful words, using clear, neat handwriting.
- To develop spelling and vocabulary for writing, play word games such as ‘I spy', Scrabble, Boggle, Scattergories and do crossword puzzles.
Helping with writing at home
- Have your child label and describe things that they design or make.
- Compile a photo album or scrapbook with your child and have them write captions for the photos and pictures.
- Encourage your child to keep a diary of special events, eg a holiday diary with details of how and where they went and what they enjoyed, etc.
- Make the writing of notes, letters and stories on paper or on the computer a normal part of family life.