Encouraging children to write is even harder than getting them to read a good book. With a little creativity and persistence you can make writing more enjoyable and less like a homework assignment. Some suggestions will work better for your children than others. It will be a case of trial and error to see which activities will work best for your family. As a writer, I always tried to think of ways to persuade my kids to write more. Here are a few suggestions to try with your family.
HAVE THEM WRITE THANK-YOU NOTES
I always encouraged my children to write thank-you notes when they received gifts for special occasions. Not only does this practice teach them manners and common courtesy, it can go a long way towards showing them how writing is used in everyday life. Sit down next to your kids and write your thank-you notes at the same time.
GET YOUR CHILDREN INVOLVED IN PLANNING THEIR OWN BIRTHDAY PARTIES
Children as young as three or four can help fill out their birthday party invitations. You can find fill-in-the blank invitations at most party supply stores. Let them write the address on the envelope and put the stamp on as well. You can sneak in a short lesson about mailing letters. This seems to be a lost art. Your kids will be so excited about their birthday party; they will hardly notice that you’ve asked them to write something.
BUY YOUR KIDS A TRAVEL LOG BEFORE YOU TAKE A FAMILY VACATION
Let each of your children pick out a notebook before your next vacation. They can decorate the front cover and give it the title: “Travel Log”. Tell your children that the notebook is to record their special memories from the trip. At the end of each day’s activities, have your children unwind by writing in their journal. They will remember more if they write in the journal during the vacation because the memories will still be fresh. If they want, have them glue souvenirs into the notebook. Small flowers, leaves, postcards, or travel brochures would add to the appeal of their travel diary.
LET YOUR CHILDREN SEE YOU WRITING
In today’s digital environment, your children may not notice that you are composing letters to your friends via email. Once in a while, let them see you writing an old-fashioned letter to a friend.