Writing…a struggle I’ve had to wrestle with my own 3 kids about…A LOT. I absolutely LOVE to write. Therefore, my kids ought to as well, right? Well, sort of. I have learned over the last 10 years of homeschooling my kids that I can make them loathe writing…OR…I can help foster a love for writing in them! OK, maybe not for my son, but he can at least like it and not complain every time I ask him to write something for me! If you are struggling, you might find these 8 Unique Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Write helpful!
Fun writing prompts are essential for success in writing. If your child is keen on a topic for writing, they will be more likely to dive in eagerly. Simply do a Google search for writing prompts. For example, I found writing prompts for Lego Minifigures and for Minecraft.
A good prompt triggers great ideas for writing. It is extremely difficult to just pull a topic out on “thin air”. Expecting kids to come up with their own ideas for writing can cause anxiety and stress. Let’s make it simple for them to write.
I recently received an email from WriteShop that is offering 40 awesome writing prompts for FREE. Just sign up for their newsletter! This is for a limited time, however, even the $3.50 cost is worth it if you missed it!
Set Timer For Writing
Some kids (my son) require a set time limit for their writing. It seems to help them focus. Having a timer set also lets them know that there is an end in sight;) I would say about 10 minutes for younger kids and 15 minutes for older kids.
Mom Writes, Too
It is good for kids to see their mom writing when they are writing…it helps them to remain focused and quiet, too. Take some time to write in your journal, modeling good writing practices. Afterward, you can each read what you wrote to each other. Kids like to hear what mom wrote, especially if it is something funny.
Keep Writer’s Journal
I keep a small book for jotting down ideas for writing. If your child is enthusiastic about this idea, get them a special notebook for this purpose. Allow them to use decorative stickers and papers to jot ideas down and put in their book. My youngest daughter keeps hers by her bed so she can write her ideas down before bed.
Offer Fun Writing Tools
In late August, just before school starts up again here in British Columbia, I buy my kids cool writing tools as a ‘Back-To-Homeschool’ gift. Funky pens and amusing erasers just make writing more fun. The photo shows some of the different writing tools my son has, including one with invisible ink!
Another great idea is having a writer’s tote with trendy writing ‘accessories’. This is our tote full of interesting things. I have included scissors that have fun cutting edges, washi tape, glitter glue, letter stickers, ribbon and much more. Cute little envelopes also make writing super fun. I also have a stack of fancy paper that the kids can use when they are ready to write a good copy of their work.
Have A Purpose
When writing has a purpose, kids are more likely to write with enthusiasm.
With our school, Heritage Christian Online School, we send out a monthly newsletter where kids can contribute their work for HCOS families to read. Knowing that someone else will be reading their writing motivates kids to write well.
My youngest enjoys writing stories. I told her that if she writes a 20,000-word story, I would get it published for her. CreateSpace is great for self-publishing and they provide the opportunity to sell on Amazon AND the company with print and ship hard copies of your book to you! It would be pretty cool for your child to see their book in print. And who knows, a few cpies might even get sold!
I found a great novel writing resource on Christian HomeschoolHub. I purchased a download club membership and found the “Young Novelists Workbook” which takes students through the novel writing process. My daughter LOVED it.
Permit Use Of Electronics
Who doesn’t like options? When I give my son the choice of writing on the computer or with pen and paper, he is less likely to wrestle with me about writing. Sometimes he will choose to use the computer and sometimes he will choose pen and paper. My oldest daughter prefers writing on the computer (so do I) and my youngest has several stories started on my iPad.
If electronics and computers make writing easier for your kids, let them use them. Experimenting with all of those fun fonts and colors adds to the fun!
PLUS, experimenting with all of those fun fonts and colors just adds to the fun!
Use Stories As A Launch Pad
Storybooks often give great ideas for writing. Look for books that lend themselves well to this technique. “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” is a fantastic one. My daughter wrote her own version titled “If You Give A Panther A Car”.
I love the story “Whatever You Do, Don’t Go Near That Canoe!” It is a marvelous story for extending writing. Kids get to make up their own adventure similar to the story and they have the opportunity to have fun with word-play. For example, at the end of the story, the adult refers to his float plane as a ‘twin-engined sleigh’.
If you read the story “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt“, you can encourage writing by asking what animal your child would like to hunt for instead of a bear…it could even be a made up creature, like my son’s Strawberry Nibbler!
Just because these storybooks are geared towards younger children, it doesn’t mean that older children wouldn’t enjoy this activity. And who knows, this might trigger a passion for writing children’s books with their own, unique ideas, which can be published on CreateSpace as well! **This could be an opportunity for your child to earn money**
What ideas have helped you to encourage your kids to write? Which of these tips would you like to try with your kids?
Here is one more excellent resource to use with your children