Writing is an important skill that can not only help your child succeed academically in the short term, but professionally in the long run. It can also be a valuable creative and therapeutic outlet by providing a means for children to better process and express their thoughts.
Here are five ways you can help your child develop and improve his or her creative writing skills.
One of the best ways to provide inspiration is to encourage reading. Good readers make better writers as reading exposes children to different writing styles and subjects. Ways to encourage this include reading to and with your child. Asking questions as you read about characters, plot and setting as you read can help your child develop a better undersanding of writing structure and spark his or her imagination.
Identify Ways to Practice
Help your child to develop his or her writing skills by suggesting creative ways for your child to practice writing. For example, incorporpate fun writing exercises into imaginative play, encourage your child to journal or correspond with family and friends, or play word games to help build vocabulary.
Writing takes time and mental energy, so don’t expect to be able to squeeze it into an already packed schedule. Make sure your child has the time and mental space needed to relax, unwind, contemplate and write.
Just as your child needs physical space in which to do his or her homework, the same holds true for writing activities. Make sure your child has a writing surface (e.g. table, desk) in an area free from distractions as well as the tools and resources (e.g. pencil, notebook) required to support and foster his or her creativity.
Creativity stems from taking risks and thinking outside of the box. Focusing too much on spelling, punctuation or grammar instead of encouraging the creative process may hinder your child’s writing attempts. While editing is necessary in developing good writing skills, it is important to first create a supportive and encouraging environment. To do so, focus on your child’s ideas first and then gently correct mechanical errors once you’ve provided the necessary praise and support.
One of the best ways to help your child develop his or her creative writing skills is to be a role model. Demonstrate to your child that reading and writing are valuable skills. Many times actions speak louder than words and can go a long way in helping to develop your child’s creative writing skills.