Pen and paper – that’s all many of us think we need in order to write.
However, writing is not that simple. We need to know how to organize our thoughts into sentences and then into paragraphs and ultimately into larger forms such as essays and articles, thus making our ideas understandable to readers.
Students wishing to pursue higher education must become proficient at writing. From standardized tests to personal narratives and academic essays, they must be able to write about what they read and learn, as well as about who they are and who they want to become. They need to write effectively and creatively, often within a set time period. Those who excel at this skill will be able to persuade readers of their ideas and opinions and be more likely to succeed in school.
In addition, such students will have a greater chance of attaining their goals, such as admission to a first-rate college or university.
Proficiency in writing is also important beyond the field of academia. The Pew Research Center conducted a survey asking adults with different levels of education about the importance of various life skills, and writing consistently ranked among the top five skills necessary for success.1
If you want your child to become a better writer, here are five ways you can help:
1. Encourage your child to read
We all learn how to write by reading the writing of others so it’s important to encourage young children to read books they enjoy, and as they mature, to read higher quality literature.
Exposing children to standard sentence patterns, punctuation, and grammar through reading helps them learn how to use these forms in their own writing. Set a time period each day when your child focuses solely on reading; for example, 30 minutes after school or before dinner. Then ask about what she has read.
2. Have your child keep a list of vocabulary words
We often wonder about the meaning of words, but less often follow up and find the definitions. If your child comes across a word she doesn’t know, tell her to write it down and look up the definition.
Then ask her to use the word in a sentence and encourage her to use the word in her writing and speaking.
3. encourage the Practice of writing
Let your child apply what she has learned through practice. Although she is already writing for homework assignments, her writing should not be limited to academics.
Give your child a journal or diary in which she can write about her daily experiences. Ask her to write stories, summaries of what she reads, and descriptions of her dreams and aspirations. Also, check her agenda for how accurately she has recorded her tasks and school assignments.
Encourage her to combine writing with activities she enjoys by creating texts such as guides for video games.
4. ask your child to read her writing out loud
Have your child present her work verbally. People are often best exposed to language mechanics, punctuation, and grammar through speech. Having your child read her work aloud will allow her to hear what she has written, find her mistakes and correct them.
5. Give positive feedback
Show interest in your child’s writing. Give her positive feedback for good work, and if her writing needs improvement, provide constructive criticism without being judgmental. Any small bit of encouragement can make a big difference.
We’re all busy in our daily lives and many of us cannot spend as much time as we would like helping our children learn. If you can’t follow these five suggestions, find someone who can help your child improve her writing. Remember, Dojo Academy is always ready to provide assistance!
To enroll your child into our program today, contact us at 714.340.5555.