Encourage Your Youngster To Write

Throughout your youngster's education, he/she will probably struggle with writing. It takes practice, and writing well is an ongoing process. Learning how to organize thoughts and express them with clarity is hard work. Ask any writer. The good news is, it's never too early to help your youngster begin this process.

Start by encouraging your youngster to express his/her feelings, thoughts, and ideas.

•    First of all, keep a supply of crayons, pens, colored markers and pencils available for quiet times. Store these items in a clear plastic container or a large baggie. Have a desk or table where your youngster can work.

•    You'll need plenty of paper, coloring, books, construction paper and perhaps a pair of safety scissors for a young child.

•    Encourage your youngster to talk about his/her day. Ask them to tell you about things that happened and ask who was involved.

•    Ask your youngster to talk about a picture he/she has drawn or a page he/she has colored. Find out more about the characters, and be sure to clarify anything you don't understand, but remember, it's your child's work. Don't ask them to change it.

•    Help your youngster turn the stories into a book by writing the stories down as your youngster tells them. The writing along with the picture can be attached to construction paper. Assist your youngster in making a cover with the name of the story as the title and your child's name as the author.

•    Store all of your youngster's stories together in a folder or binder; this will give you and your youngster an opportunity to monitor how his/her skills are improving.

•    Share one of these books on FaceBook for grandparents who live out of state to see and enjoy.

Pat Frayne

Does Your Youngster Hate To Write?

Does your youngster use all sorts of stalling tactics and made up excuses to avoid doing a written homework assignment?
This negative response to written work may be rooted in anxiety about the actual process of writing due to difficulty with fine motor skills. Or it may stem from the inability to choose the best topic to write about and then organize those thoughts on paper.

Parents can help youngsters by putting the focus on how to write and what to write.
You help your youngster take the fear and uncertainty out of writing when you explain each step of the assignment. Talk through each step with your youngster, allowing your youngster to give his/her feedback. Writing is more manageable if it is understood as a step by step process rather than as the finished product.