How to Help Young Writers: Suggestions for Parents
Read interesting books (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) aloud to your child, regardless of his age! Have different sizes and colors of paper, lots of pens, markers, pencils, and blank books available. Encourage children to write for a purpose (send a letter to someone who lives far away, write a thank-you note, make a list of things to do, write a sign for a lemonade stand, write away for information for a report or travel brochures, design a room sign, or keep a diary as a personal history. Create a photo-memory book together and write captions for the pictures. Keep a trip journal. Limit television, video, and DVD time to perhaps an hour a day to allow students time to read, write, and create. (Active vs. passive learning) Help your child establish a personal home library. Be a reading model yourself. The best writers are often the best readers. Join the public library and visit it often. Write notes to your child and encourage him to write back. Give him compliments, ask questions, and celebrate special events in your own words. Encourage him to do the same. The art of storytelling is essential to the development and maintenance of a healthy imagination. Tell real and fantasy stories. The best ones are often stories about when you were a child or stories about grandparents and great grandparents! It is easier for children to write once they have verbalized their stories. Collaborate to tell stories and ask your children to tell their own stories at a family dinner or gathering. Use reading and writing for pleasure, but never as a punishment!
Lynne loves to write in the early morning hours, especially in warm weather when she can sit outside on the patio. After a walk with her three Welsh Corgis, her mind is cleared and her spirit is inspired by the choir of birds in nearby bushes and trrees.