In this article, we will learn how to motivate a child to write. Writing is imperative to a child’s development and can enhance their literacy capacities. It helps them to add meaning to texts, improve motor skills and improve phonetic awareness. However, for many parents and educators, motivating a child to write can pose a huge task.
Why it is Important for Children to Write?
Writing is important to a child’s development for many factors.
- Writing helps children develop phonological awareness-It helps them learn what letters and words look like and the difference between how they sound and read.
- It helps their alphabetical knowledge-Writing helps children to learn more about the alphabet, remember letters and learn how to use them.
- Writing helps to organize skills-When asked to write in a certain format, for example, two pages of a4, children develop organization skills, as they have to plan and fit their text into this format.
- Writing helps revision skills-Reading through and editing their writing can help children with their revision skills- this is a skill that can go beyond writing. They develop skills that can help them assess and revise work throughout life.
- Writing can help with handwriting-An obvious but pertinent positive of writing is to improve handwriting, an additional benefit to this is that throughout writing in childhood, children can improve their handwriting speed and legibility for adulthood.
There are many factors why it is important for children to write. From phonological awards and alphabetical knowledge to revision and planning skills. It is a very important part of a child’s development and therefore can’t be overlooked. Many children struggle to find the motivation to write but there are techniques that can help.
How to Motivate a Child to Write?
Many children lack the motivation to try writing for many reasons, however writing is an important part of their development. Trying multiple techniques over a long period of time. It can help to develop a child’s writing in a format that suits their needs.
Allow Other Forms of Creativity
Allowing children to draw can help them visualize and plan ideas. They may be intimidated by a blank piece of paper and therefore allowing them to paint, draw or use toys may help them to come up with ideas.
Read to them
Reading to children can help them not only to develop an understanding of how stories work but can give them inspiration. In addition to this reading can help spark discussion around books.
Be More Specific
Rather than just asking a child to write from scratch, pose a theme, topic, or genre. This can help them feel less overwhelmed and they can use their knowledge of the subject to write.
Be Flexible With Formats
There may be specific ways in which children are told to write at school so allow different formats, for example, don’t be afraid to allow computers- this may be less intimidating to children who struggle with their handwriting.
Don’t Let Them Use a Rubber
Similarly to adults, children ponder over their mistakes and worry if their work isn’t good enough. Stopping them from using rubber and allowing mistakes helps them to be more confident and less scared of what will happen if they do make mistakes.
Read their work
Many children dislike writing and therefore reward their effort by reading their work- preferably aloud. Give praise and highlight strong areas of the work. This will help their confidence as they know their work is appreciated.
Try Different Types of Writing
If a child dislikes writing poems, try stories or articles. Trying different formats of writing will help to find children’s interests, focusing on these interests helps children to engage in subjects they like while writing, this may feel less like work.
Write About Personal Experiences
Encouraging children to write about personal experiences such as what they did during their holiday or what they had for tea allows them to write with confidence as they know the facts. In addition to this, it will feel less overwhelming as they don’t have to be as creative or adventurous with their work.
Writing with children or encouraging writing at school/with friends can help a child’s development as they are able to discuss ideas and gain a wider knowledge of formats and themes.
Some children may simply dislike writing, adding prizes or incentives will help motivate them as it poses a sense of achievement for completing the writing.
Encourage diagrams, pictures, painting, and drawing in planning. Allowing children to plan helps take away the stress of both planning and writing at the same time. It also allows the writing process to be broken up into smaller more manageable chunks.
Using templates such as “A day in the life of a dog” help to frame the writing. Making the work less overwhelming as the topic is specific.
There are many ways to motivate children to write, however, the most important factor may be patience. Allow time for the children to become more confident and time to work out their favorite form of writing. Do not punish children for not writing and encourage them by praising the work they have done.
How Often Should Children Write?
While motivation is important, implementation and routine are also crucial to seeing improvements in a child’s writing.
- Set aside daily time for children to write-setting aside time daily not only shows children the importance of writing but also adds routine which will help writing seem more normalized. This time also encourages children to think about ideas throughout the day as they know they will have time to write.
Setting time aside shows children that writing is important. It will be done every day. This can help them feel more comfortable in a routine and expect writing in daily life.
This Is How To Motivate a Child To Write
There are many ways to encourage children to write, including allowing different formats, reading their work, and allowing mistakes. The most crucial part however is continued motivation of any type daily. This allows improvement over time and the implementation of routine.