To keep this from happening, find lots of real-life opportunities for him to write. Here are a few:

Have him write thank-you notes. Because of e-mail, letter-writing is fast becoming a dying art. But don’t let that happen in your family. Show your child the components of a good letter—from the salutation to the closing—and insist that he write thank-you notes whenever he receives a gift.

Put him in charge of the grocery list. Have your child write a logically-ordered list of the items your family needs from the store. For instance, does an alphabetical list make sense, or should he organize things according to whether they’re perishable or nonperishable, near the front of the store or the back, etc.?

Ask for instructions. He’s probably more tech savvy than you are, so have him enlighten you! Ask him to write a set of instructions for how to reboot the computer or program the DVR that you can follow when he’s not home.

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