How to help young children be confident writers

Do you know a child who claims to be a “bad writer?”  One who is so convinced of his lack of ability that he can hardly begin a writing assignment?  Today I’m sharing how to help young children be confident writers from the very beginning.

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We’ve made it to the the tenth and final lesson in the Preschool & Kindergarten Writing Lesson series between This Reading Mama and me!  We’ve talked about important topics such as how to model writing for young children, understanding writing development in young children, and how to help reluctant writers.

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One of our main goals with these lessons has been to help young children see the value of writing and to be inspired to write themselves.

Help young children be confident writers by giving them opportunities to write.

I’m sure you’ve heard that children become better readers by reading.  The same goes for writing.  Set up a consistent “writing time” for your young writer.

  • Give your child fun writing materials to get him started.
  • If possible, pick a consistent time of day at least three times per week. Maybe it’s when the baby’s napping.  It could be after snack time, or right after breakfast.
  • Keep writing time open-ended.  This is not a time for copying or writing prompts.   If your little one isn’t sure what to write about, check out this post.
  • View each session as a teaching opportunity.  Give your child a gentle nudge when he’s ready to learn something new.  My tips for teaching children in different stages of writing will help you out.

Help young children be confident writers by having them write for others.

  • Is a parent or sibling taking a brown bag lunch?  Invite your child to write the family member’s name on the lunch bag.
  • Young writers can write a message (even if it’s scribbling) and sign their name to a thank you note.
  • Encourage your child to draw a picture and label it for a neighbor, teacher, or friend.
  • Allow your child to write an item or more on the grocery list (even if the writing is still drawing).
  • For children who are able to write sentences, type up their short story into a book and let them illustrate it. Your child will be excited to share this with a parent or grown-up.  (After sharing, date it and save as a keepsake!)

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Help children be confident writers by responding positively to their work.

  • When your child shares his writing with you, don’t try to read it aloud unless you’re absolutely sure what it says. Instead ask, “What does your writing say?” or “Tell me about your writing.”
  • When a child tentatively shares his work, it’s not the time to criticize or critique.  Try your hardest to find something your child has done well, even if it’s that he chose a pretty color!  If he wrote letters, punctuation, or actual words, call attention to them and celebrate.
  • If the moment feels right, encourage your child to try something else.  “You made such a great drawing for Grandma! Let’s stretch out the word monster and write it next to the picture.”

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This Reading Mama and I have really enjoyed sharing this series with you!   Be sure to click on the image above to see all ten lessons.

Do you have any further questions?  We’d love to hear from you in the Comments!

 

© 2014, The Measured Mom. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have given me the confidence to start writing with my kids this year! I appreciate your wisdom and simple approach.

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