As a mom, I’ve had countless opportunities to watch my children discover that even though they played at the park, they sat on their blanket instead of sitted. Children learn to use grammar without ever knowing what it means to conjugate a verb. So why, with all that grammar usage under their belts, is it so hard to put those words on paper?
Writing takes all those skills they use to speak and adds things like punctuation, organization and using symbols to convey things that tone of voice and hand gestures take care of for them. If writing isn’t something that comes easy to you, it can be intimidating. Actually, even those of us who like the stuff can be intimidated by all the rules. So if you’re overwhelmed, don’t feel bad and don’t worry. There are some things you can do to help your child develop writing skills without being a master of the trade yourself.
Talk to your children. You are your child’s first vocabulary teacher and continue to be the main teacher for much of their lives. A large vocabulary is an invaluable tool when it comes to writing. The more words your child knows, the easier time they’ll have expressing their ideas and conveying their emotions. Don’t be afraid to use words you don’t think they’ll understand. They’ll understand more than you think and what they don’t understand opens an opportunity to teach them something new. Just be prepared to take the time to further explain what you mean.
Read. This is probably the most important thing you can do. Read to your child, with your child or encourage them to read on their own. The human brain has the incredible capacity to duplicate what it sees, hears and reads. By reading, they’ll pick up organizational skills, punctuation rules, story-telling techniques and other skills to better their writing. Let them read whatever they’re interested in. They can learn just as much from something poorly written as they can something well-written. After they read, encourage them to talk about it. What did they like? Why did they like it? What didn’t they like? And why?
Utilize the Internet. You might not know the difference between affect and effect or all the proper places to use commas, but someone out there does. The Internet is filled with websites and blogs with simple helpful tips on any writing topic you might need to know about. Ask any writer and they’ll probably admit that they’ve spent a good amount of time trolling the Internet for ideas, research, or checking or double-checking their grammar and usage.
Becoming a better writer can seem like a daunting task, but with some help, practice and a little perseverance you’ll find that those necessary tools are easier to learn than you think.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs