For some, writing is as effortless as breathing, but for others, every word is a struggle. And if you have a child in middle school or high school that struggles with writing, it can have a major impact on their grades.
So, what can you do to help? These seven writing tips for kids are a great way to help your child develops stronger writing skills, and all the benefits that go along with that!
1. Read More
Almost without fail, good readers tend to be better writers as well. Reading helps kids and teens learn how language naturally flows, improves their vocabulary and expands imagination.
If you have a child that tends to avoid reading for pleasure on their own, pick out a chapter book about something they enjoy and read a chapter to them every night.
It’s almost as beneficial to their development as reading on their own and can be a great bonding moment as well.
2. Try Writing Prompts
To help your kids enjoy the act of writing, encourage them to move beyond school essays and papers.
Find some fun writing prompts for teens and suggest a reasonable timeframe for your child to create their own story about the prompt. It can be a great way to help them realize that writing can be a joy instead of a chore.
3. Set a Timer
If your teen is struggling to even get started, set a timer for fifteen minutes and encourage them to just start writing and plow through putting words onto paper until it rings.
It doesn’t matter if the writing isn’t great; the act of fighting through writer’s block is a valuable skill that will help them to become a better writer in the long term.
4. Try Journaling
Suggest to your child that they start keeping a daily journal of their thoughts, goals, or accomplishments. Set aside a specific time in the evening for journal writing, even if it’s just a quick five minutes.
Not only can journaling be a great way to develop stronger writing, but it can also be very beneficial for mental health as well.
5. Don’t Write and Edit at the Same Time
If your child tends to stop every few sentences to fix mistakes or change wording, one of the best writing tips can be to separate writing time and editing time.
Not only does writing take far longer if your child is constantly interrupting their train of thought to edit their wording, small mistakes are often missed upon an initial reading as well.
Separating writing and editing time into two completely different work sessions generally improves both writing speed and editing quality.
6. Read Out Loud
If your child wants to ensure their writing is as professional as it can be, reading the story or essay out loud is a great way to do that.
Hearing the words out loud make it much easier for your teen to catch any repetition that should be fixed, notice any grammatical errors that weren’t found in previous editing, and ensure that the piece flows properly for maximum impact.
Writing is one of those tricky things that’s part art and part skill, and whether your teen is a natural writer or has to work hard to get their words onto paper, there’s always more to learn.
Encourage your child not to get discouraged, even when writing that essay or paper seems like an insurmountable challenge.
It’s been said by various writers in the past that the way to become a writer is to write one million words, then throw it away and get to work. In other words, the first million words are just practice.
Remind your child that their work is their own journey towards become a skilled writer, and every word they write is helping them to improve.
With some encouragement and these writing tips, even the most reluctant writer will be able to improve their skills (and hopefully their grades as well).
Stay positive, help out when you can, and make sure your child knows that you’re proud of their effort!