Writing at home is important for your child, but I often have parents ask me what their child should be writing at home and how to make writing meaningful so their child wants to write.
Your child should be writing daily, or at least every other day. Writing doesn’t have to be a long, tedious chore. Writing should be meaningful so that your child wants to do it and will try their best to do good writing.
Writing can consist of writing lists, writing letters, writing in a journal, writing notes, writing comic strips, writing about a book, and much more.
Lists: weekly grocery list, a list of toys he/she would like, a list of friends at school, or a list of caring things he/she could do for someone else.
Letters: to grandparents, cousins, friends, or pen pals. Letters could also be typed and sent as emails.
Journal: describe their day. What did they do? How did they feel? Who did they play with? What would they like to do tomorrow?
Notes: reminders of things to do, what to pack for lunch, love notes, thank you notes (You can use a fill in the blank form as seen below for younger or struggling writers.)
Comic Strips: write and illustrate a comic strip about something funny
About a book: what happened, what was surprising, favorite character, a new ending, add a new character
The key to helping your child with writing at home is NOT to correct every spelling, punctuation, capitalization, or grammar mistake. Doing so will frustrate your child and he/she will not want to write anymore. Instead, choose one thing to focus on for that writing and only correct that one thing. For example, if your child is writing a letter to a grandparent, tell your child you are going to check to make sure all the words are spelled correctly so he/she should really do the best spelling. Then, when your child is finished writing the letter, only check for spelling. Don’t check for any other mistakes. And, remember to compliment your child on writing a good letter.