If you are a writer, you probably want your kids to develop great writing skills and appreciate what you do! Writing is essential to succeed in both the workplace and at schools and teens, tweens and kids are losing the proper writing skills and etiquette due to increased texting, emails and Instant Messages.
Here are a few ways you can encourage young writers in your family.
1. Family History
Have your kids write and research a family history. This will get them to interview grandparents and aunts and uncles while also practicing their research and writing skills…a great Christmas gift for the grandparents!
2. Thank You Notes
Make sure your kids always send thank you notes and follow-up notes. Not only is this very polite, but it will get them in the habit of writing formal letters and expressing their gratitude and feelings on paper.
3. Letters to Family
Every time you travel your kids should be writing letters about their travels home. They should also write a letter to grandma or a distant pen pal cousin every other month or so. Letters are great keepsakes and will help them express themselves to others.
4. Write Restaurant Reviews/ Movie Reviews
Have your kids write movie or restaurant reviews on their favorite (or least favorite places). This is also a good way to turn complaints or whines about food or movies into actual learning pieces.
5. Travel Journal or Diary
If your can get your kids to keep a diary—even if it is once a month, this is great practice. Every time you travel they should be writing down their thoughts and ideas about what they are seeing and feeling.
6. Petition for Rules
Get your kids into the habit of writing down their arguments. If they want a later bedtime, tell them to petition you in writing. Persuasive writing is the most difficult and getting them in the habit early. It will also make them think twice about asking for something!
7. Creative Writing
Have them do creative writing assignments at home. You can have them write a creative piece called: “what I didn’t do over spring break” if they were not able to go anywhere. Or have them write a piece from the point of view of the fridge, imagining what your family seems like to an outsider! Anything creative will get those juices flowing.
8. Vocab of the Week
Every Sunday night have everyone bring the weirdest word they encountered that week. Or get a word of the day calendar and go over it every dinnertime—the person who can fit it into conversation gets to pick dessert.
9. Read Aloud
Whatever you have them write, whether it is for school or pleasure make sure they are reading it aloud before they hand it in. This is the best way to catch typos and it is a good habit for them to have.
10. Post Essays on the Fridge
Display essays, writing pieces and articles on the fridge like artwork. Show them it is good to be proud of your writing and it is an essential skill to have.
You can also have students read an article in the newspaper and then write a letter to the editor because this is a great way for them to practice writing opinion in an organized way. Good writing is an essential skill for young people to have. It is also important for kids to appreciate and value writing as a skill. Get creative with them and let your passion for writing show through and they will be sure to show you theirs!