April 10th, Encourage a Young Writer Day
April 10th 2021, celebrates ‘Encourage A Young Writer Day’, this is such an important day for us at inTuition Clubs, with all our tuition programmes for children, we aim to inspire our students to use their imagination and skills to write, with various exercises during our classes.
Children and young people’s enjoyment of writing is at almost its lowest level in a decade. Although there has been some improvement since 2019, and a significant jump in the number of children writing daily outside school, there is still work to be done. Since the onset of the global pandemic and lockdown, there has been a blurring of the boundaries between home and school. For a significant number of the children and young people surveyed, this has had an impact on their writing. In many cases children and young people are developing new and positive writing habits, while others see the time they might once have spent writing for themselves at home absorbed by schoolwork. We believe that it’s important for parents to encourage creative writing as a task that is separate from homework, which will in turn encourage children to balance time effectively.
While technology has really helped us all stay in touch throughout the years, it has really affected our handwriting and has also had an impact on how children write overall, such as acronyms, emoticons, incorrect grammar etc.
So, the question is how can our children become better writers? How do we encourage them?
Reading is crucial to improve children’s writing
Reading is key to writing. At inTuition Clubs, we celebrated: ‘World Book Month’; with many activities to promote reading and writing to our students, such as running a competition among our students to write their own ‘short book’! The winner had their story transformed into an audiobook! You can find more information on how the month went and what we did at inTuition Clubs, by reading our blogpost here.
Tips for parents to improve children’s writing
1. Read to your child or let them read to you!
By reading your child uses their imagination, this sets the foundation of storytelling. So, make sure to encourage your child to pick up a book or spend time reading them stories! Remember there are many different genres of books: your child may prefer comics over novels, they may love crime thrillers and not fantasy books, let them choose what they like! Beyond exposure to new and challenging words, your children will learn how to articulate phrases and to use vocabulary in the most effective way. Just by experiencing a story, they will begin to understand cadence and rhythm of inflection.
2. Encourage them to start a journal!
A fun activity for children to have is journaling, keeping a diary can help children navigate these difficult times, it is also a great activity to encourage them to write! So many topics can be included in a diary, children can write about their day freely or can be guided to fill in the blanks through templates. Feel free to use our template below. Explain to your kids diary are made to write down their emotions and adventures and are private for them to write whatever they feel like!
3. If your child struggles to handwrite, do not be afraid to provide them with a laptop or computer!
Some children may find it quite difficult and not fun to handwrite, so do not pressure them to pick up pen and papers and instead let them type on a laptop or electronic device, each child is different, and finding a method that works best for them is key.
4. Use voice dictation
This helps children write and encourages storytelling.
Voice dictation will allow your child to convert their spoken words into text. It removes the task of physically writing down their words but still allows their creativity to flourish!
5. Show them you love writing too!
Maybe start writing in a diary alongside them, or organise writing activities and games within your family. It is important to recognise that our children learn mostly from example. One idea might be to write a poem together, a fan fiction, or even a family history story.
6. Praise them for their stories!
Make sure you read you kids work (if they are happy for you to do so) and praise them for their writing skills, provide some suggestions as well for them to improve and work on! Keep it very positive!
7. Encourage your children to write letters! To their friends, family and more.
What did children write about in lockdown?
The main topics amongst children writing during lockdown were: creative and wellbeing writing. It is great to discover that so many youngsters, were able to confidently turn to writing to express their feelings during such a difficult time and express themselves. 1 in 6 children and young people say that they enjoyed writing more during lockdown than they had before.
From the survey:
- 2 in 5 have written more short stories or fiction (39.7%) and letters (39.3%)
- 1 in 4 (27.1%) have written more in a diary or journal.
- 1 in 5 (20.8%) have written more poetry
- 2 in 5 (41.3%) children said writing makes them feel better and 1 in 4 (24.8%)
For those children and young people who say they enjoy writing more during lockdown, the reason for increased writing enjoyment was most often having extra time to write, and for those who said they enjoy writing less during lockdown, this is because they associate writing with schoolwork, and they feel like they have so much of it already.
Vocabulary practice as a game!
There are many games and apps online you can use to help your child improve their vocabulary. Cambridge Learning has created ab app filled with 15 hours of game time on vocabulary practice! Having an expert vocabulary can really help your children enjoy writing more, the app is free and can be downloaded here.
How we can help your child’s writing at inTuition Clubs
If you want to separate the idea of exercising imagination from homework, inTuition Clubs might be the place for your child to really find their feet (or their hands) with creative writing. If requested, our skilled tutors can centre lessons around the development of vocabulary and imaginative faculties. Sometimes this takes the form of picture prompts or discussions between the tutor and the pupil. But either way, that hour of time can be a bubble away from homework to really encourage your child to explore the possibilities of creative writing.
If you are interested, we offer a FREE evaluation session for your future student.