Quite a number of children are smart and speak fluently but when it comes to writing creatively, they struggle!
There are two main areas of writing where children may struggle:
- Handwriting and spelling
- Expressing ideas in writing.
Children may have trouble in one area or both. Let’s delve into each briefly.
Handwriting skills are part of an area of writing called transcription. (Spelling is part of transcription, too.) Trouble in this area affects how well children can present their thoughts. Teachers may have a hard time deciphering the words and sentences written by the children. Even the kids themselves might not be able to read what they wrote.
TROUBLE EXPRESSING IDEAS IN WRITING
Some children have trouble getting ideas together and planning how to put them into writing. This often occurs because the child has low vocabulary. The more words a child knows, the better writer he becomes.
WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD IMPROVE IN WRITING CREATIVELY
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that,” writes Stephen King in his memoir, “On Writing.” He goes on to explain writers must read widely and frequently to develop their own voice and to learn how to pen sentences and structure stories in ways that compel readers to pick up their work and read it. This is same with children.
Children need to develop good reading culture and keep a list of new words. In fact, every child should have a Word Jar from age 3. For every new word your child learns, write and drop it in the Word Jar. Each day, bring out random words and have your child identify the words, say the meaning and use in simple sentences, as applicable to each age.
Children should be encouraged to reduce screen time (television, computer, phones) and read more.
Francine Prose, best-selling author in “Reading Like a Writer” affirms that, “Deep reading activates our brain’s centers for speech, vision and hearing, all of which work together to help us speak, read and write.”
As we mark World Literacy Day, parents and educators should be more intentional about helping children improve on their writing skills through a healthy reading habit.
We have different programmes which help improve children’s reading habit and spelling (age 5 – 12).