Encouraging Young Writers at Home

You can help your child’s learning every day, by supporting, encouraging them and being excited by their learning. Here are some ideas to keep them developing their literacy skills at home.

  • Give your child the freedom to just write/draw without over-correcting spellings, letter formation, etc. There will be times when these things are important and need to be corrected, but sometimes kids just need a “judgement-free” zone.
  • Let your child write about things that interest them, even if they just wrote their 5th book on playing soccer! If their written work all starts sounding the same, suggest that they write about the rules of soccer, how their team won their last game, or even a soccer poem.
  • Provide resources, such as a sight word folder, a book you’ve just read together, labels around your house, sight word cards, or an easy dictionary.
  • Write for authentic purposes (letters, thank you cards, pen pals, a grocery list, etc.). And while they’re writing those letters, it’s the perfect time to teach them the conventions.
  • Allow them to use invented spelling in a developmentally appropriate way. (The key to this is to hold them accountable for what they know.)
  • Treat them as a “real” author, by putting the books they’ve written on the bookshelf to be read, along with all your other books.
  • Give them an audience for their writing. Find ways for them to share what they’ve written. Often times writers are frustrated because they do not have someone to write to. Kids need an audience, a reader, someone who will respond to their creation, ask questions, or comment. Give them feedback.
  • Create a space for writing, or provide some fun writing tools.
  • For more ideas appropriate to each year level, visit https://parents.education.govt.nz/primary-school/learning-and-development-at-home/ideas-to-help-with-reading-writing-and-maths/