Writing is a skill which all of us must show to our children, regardless of whether we want them to consider it as a career or not. Writing is unfortunately a skill which is slowing fading away owing to the dawn of digital gadgets which autocorrect spelling and offer recommendations for better writing. The art of writing however, as local journalist can attest to, is a fine one which we must keep alive. The allegations that writing is dead does have a lot of truth in it and this is why we must voluntarily show our children how to do it well, and here are some tips on doing just that.
The easiest way to start with your child is to allow them to write stories, these stories can be abut absolutely anything from a fox who can talk to zombie apocalypse. What you are looking for here is for your child to just let their ideas flow out and let them start to learn how stories should be structured and how they should be told. Once the story has been finished you can go through it and see how it reads, even if you don’t have writing skills you, as a reader, will be able to tell which parts need to be changed and whether or not the structure is right.
Reporting is another vital skill when it comes to writing and so you should try to give your child a fake story which they must accurately report on. You could invent any kind of misconduct or shocking news story which they can get their teeth into, speak to them about the difference between length story-like sentences and shorthand reporting, and then let them fly. What we are trying to do here is to teach your child about the different styles of writing and how they can adapt their style to different situations for successful writing.
We generally stop with spelling tests once we reach high school but this shouldn’t be the case and vocabulary is one of the most important aspects of writing. You can only express yourself up to the point that your vocabulary allows and this is why you should do all that you can to help your child amass a broad range of vocabulary. In order to do this you can spend time with them looking through the dictionary, picking 5 words per day for them to learn. Alternatively you can sit with their written work and use a thesaurus which your child can then use to re-write the story that they have written. Anything that exposes your child to new words and new ways of putting words together will greatly help their writing ability.
The last thing to say is that you should think about turning off autocorrect on the phone or laptop of your child, in order to get them to practice writing everything correctly, and not relying on software to correct their errors.