How to develop good writing skill in your child!
“I was overwhelmed when I saw my 2-year-old scribbling something on her magic board for the first time. For someone, whole loves writing passionately, it was sheer joy to see my baby hold the pen and create ‘wonders’. I thought, she will surely like writing. But, I guess, it was too early to predict and why to predict at all. She will do whatever she likes but somewhere I ‘wished’ that she would like writing too.”
Well, as a parent, we should introduce our little one to the amazing world of writing and involve them in various activities to create interest in them.
We all know that “the pen is mightier than the sword.” The pen is education; the pen is power; the pen is enlightenment. So why not empower your child with the power of the pen during their foundation years.
“I want her to develop good writing skills, which can be an advantage in her academics or can be more of a casual hobby. I want her to explore this ‘growing art’ and decide if she likes it. For that to happen, I have to encourage her to write or introduce her to creative writing.”
We all learn to read and write, that’s obvious. But, sometimes we notice a dislike or aversion in kids for reading and writing, apart from their academic curriculum. They do it because they have to, and not because they enjoy it.
So, let’s make ‘reading’ and ‘writing’, FUN and INTERESTING for your children. Few very simple ways that parents can follow to inculcate good writing skills in children:
Let them explore (1.5 yrs to 5 yrs): Let your toddler explore with the pen and create whatever they want to on paper. It may be pictures instead of words; ask them what they drew and tell them to write it. Put lots of different things in a bag and ask them to take one out and write what they out of the bag. Divide words into halves and write on different pieces of paper and then ask them to make the correct word. Let them make their own choices what to write and you can rectify them rather than telling them what to write. Let me identify new words and learn them. Ask them to learn and write a new word every day.
Reading is the key (3 yrs onwards): Encourage your child to read as much as possible. Reading introduces them to words, ideas, thoughts and helps them articulate. Keep lots of reading material in the house, appropriate to their age. Read along with your child. Then, you can ask them to write a new word or what they learned from a book, who is their favourite character and why.
Give them creative writing prompts: This is a very interesting exercise you can do with your child once they are able to articulate their thoughts. This might also help them with their vocabulary and academics. You can give them writing prompts like “If I was the Principal of my school, then”; “If I invent a game, it would be”; “If I become a magician for a day, I will” and so on. This will help to develop creative thinking and urge them to use their imagination and innovative self to write something new on their own. This might also help you to understand their thought process about a particular thing, person, or event and connect with them better. Encourage them to write a descriptive text.
Writing keepsakes: Another good way to keep up the writing spirit is to encourage them to keep diaries, journals, etc. It can be an account of their daily routine or anything they want to scribble. Ask them to write a letter to you or a distant relative. Ask them to describe their vacation experiences in an article. Encourage them to take part in writing competitions in schools or children’s magazines like Tinkle and other literary contests. Buy them books or kits which need writing to maintain some records. Encourage them for group writing activities or games when with friends.
Write with them: This might be difficult for many considering the busy schedule but it is very important that you get involved in what your child is doing especially during the learning years. Rather than the keyboard, you can choose to hold the pen once in a while. You can help your child in a school assignment like an essay or a poem. Help them articulate their thoughts and show them how to approach a topic. Take interest if they are asking you to read what they wrote. You can also share stories if you had faced similar issues in writing. Let them think what they want to write; ask them first what they have written and then rectify if required.
Review their work: Feedback and follow-up are the most important tools for improvement. Give your child an honest review of their work; do not discourage them rather rectify them. Help them learn from their mistakes rather than being disinterested. Ask them about the teacher’s feedback on their articles. You can also help them create an online portal for them to put their writings like blogs or repository where they can gather feedback from the others- both positive and negative to help them keep improving. Praise them for their good work and make them feel that you are eagerly waiting for their next piece. Most importantly, encourage them to use the right grammar, punctuations, full forms of words and the correct sentence construction. Make them realize that without these, writing is erroneous and incomplete.
A pen or a keyboard, ideas make their way out anyway. Help your child have a healthy and creative thinking process and they will be able to express in writing. Start putting them into the habit TODAY, they will write their own future TOMORROW!
Debolina Coomar is a freelancer content and creative writer, blogger, social media marketer, and author. She is Certified as ‘Advanced Communicator Bronze’ and ‘Advanced Leader Bronze’ from Toastmasters International for Public Speaking and a trained IELTS trainer.
** This article was first published on Smart Indian Women.
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