Ways to help your child at home- Grange Writers

Grange Writers 2016-17  Ways to support writing at home

As parents and as teachers, we know it is not always easy at the end of a busy day to get our children to write at home. However, it is the opportunities to write for pleasure and to write for a purpose at home that give our children that extra boost and help them to see that writing is not just something we do at school.  

Here are a few ideas that may help your child develop as a writer. We will not turn every child into JK Rowling, but through every day, frequent writing opportunities, we can have a very dramatic effect on their feelings about writing and their progress!

Read, read, read! The best activity to improve writing is reading. If your child reads good books, they will be a better writer. Through reading, children see a variety of authors’ techniques and learn vocabulary that they can use in their own writing. You reading to them is equally powerful!

Try and provide a place for your child to write: A quiet corner is best, the child's own place, if possible. If not, any flat surface with elbow room, a comfortable chair, and a good light will do. Stock the paper, pencils and crayons. You can also gather photos, pictures and magazines that can be used as story starters and prompts

Encourage your child to keep a diary: From the youngest age, this can be an easy way to rehearse writing skills and write for a purpose. Encourage your child to write about things that happen at home and school. This reflective journal can be used to develop the “senses” of writing. Have your child write about what he saw, heard or felt on a trip or adventure. Provide experiences in your community that will interest your child and spark their writing.

Provide real writing opportunities for your child. Writing for a purpose! Have your child write their own thank-you notes, shopping lists, party invitations, persuasive letters and letters to family. Show how e-mails and texts are part of everyday writing. Helping children make the connection between writing and the “real” world will increase an interest in writing.

Praise: Praise your child’s efforts at writing. Try not to focus on errors of spelling, punctuation, and other mechanical aspects of writing. Concentrate on their success. For every error the child makes, there are dozens of things they have done well.

Writing Gifts: Give the child, and encourage others to give gifts associated with writing: pens, notepads, and pads of paper...  

Be a writing role model: Make sure your child sees you as a writer. Point out times that you use writing to communicate with others. Discuss the purpose of the writing and the target audience.

Start a vocabulary notebook: Teach your child new words each week and encourage them to use them. Make it into a game and give points for using the new words. Your child can keep a vocabulary notebook and get rewarded for the number of new words learned. The words will begin to appear like magic in her oral language and writing.

Ask questions: Ask your child questions when they write. Ask specific questions about your child’s writing such as: “How did that happen?” “How did that make you feel?” “Can you tell me more about that…?” “What are some other words you could use to describe…?”

Help your child publish their writing: Share their writing with others, place it on the fridge or encourage her to write for kids’ magazines. Many authors say the first time they were published was as part of a competition or letter to a comic. 

Remember Mr Ward and your child’s teacher are always pleased to share and celebrate any writing from home.

We know that you will have lots of ideas of your own and would like you to share them with us! Photos and tweets or Grange children writing are also very welcome to celebrate writing round school!