Being a good reader does not necessarily mean that a child will be a good writer. Writing stories is a learned skill, and sometimes the best readers are reluctant writers. The key is to start simply, so that the art of writing is not overwhelming to a young child. Here are three simple ideas to help your young child become a comfortable writer:
- Writing is part of life. From lists, memos, to e-mails, we write every day for a variety of reasons. Share the different methods of everyday writing and encourage your child to become an everyday writer. For example, have her write a "to-do" list for getting ready for school, a list of items that should always be in her backpack, or help her send an e-mail to a relative.
- Let your child choose cute cards, or postcards to use as "Thank You" notes to family and friends. Not only will this give your child writing practice, it will brighten Grandma’s day!
- Keep a notebook handy for your child to write easy, non-fiction stories from your family life. For example, when your child says "It was fun at the zoo today," ask "Why don’t you draw a picture of what you liked best?" When their picture is complete, ask questions about it. "What animal is that?" "What did you like about that animal?" Have your child write their answers underneath the picture, or you can scribe it for very young children. Remember to date the page. Then have your child read their words back to you. This can progress from one or two simple sentences to eventually filling the notebook with complete stories about their experiences.