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“How do I get my kid to write?!”
I’ve heard this same question countless times. And with this year’s focus on motivation, I wanted to answer it!
There are so many strategies that can be helpful, but all require that you let go of any particular expectation of what the writing might look like.
One of the most motivating ways to get your child interested in writing is to not pressure them into it, but to model it to them. As you read the below ideas, consider first trying these yourself before even mentioning it to your child. Let your child ask YOU what you are doing and see if they ask to join you!
Many kids enjoy keeping some kind of log or journal. This might be a nature journal that they take with them any time they are out in nature, or that they use to record what they saw after they’ve come back home.
The journal might be a travel journal, especially if your family is one that does a lot of travel. They might write about their adventures, what they saw, what they learned, what they ate, etc.
The journal might be a food journal. Maybe they record everything they eat or maybe they just record their favorite foods or the foods they eat when you all go out to eat or try a new recipe.
The journal might be about animals. Maybe wild animals that they see. Maybe they like to go bird–watching. Mabe the journal is about their pets, or about an insect they “adopted”. Maybe they journal to record the changes in a caterpillar that they have inside or outside.
The journal might be about plants- either ones they have found or ones that they are purposefully growing. They might record the trees in the neighborhood and how they change throughout the year, or what they are doing to care for the plants in the garden (and how well it is working).
The journal might be a gratitude journal, listing each day or each week all the things they are grateful for. Or a prayer journal. Or a pride journal, listing all the things that they are proud of themselves for each day.
You might help your child find a pen pal. Or they might write to family or friends, including a friend they met on a trip.
They might write letters of thanks for gifts they were given after a birthday or holiday.
Or they might write letters as part of some activism. They might write letters to politicians, or to the newspaper, or to others calling them to take action on something they are passionate about.
Some kids love to get creative in their writing, once the idea is suggested or demonstrated. They can write make-believe letters or journals. They might create short stories or full novels. They might write a play (that perhaps will get acted out!).
Some kids are passionate about a particular subject and eager to learn more about the topic. This can lead them to write about all that they have learned, synthesizing their ideas.
Sometimes just laying out a pencil and paper (or notebook/journal) can entice a child to start writing! Maybe it’s stationary or a fancy pen.
Some kids have fine motor difficulty or difficulty with spelling and it can cause a greater resistance to writing because of the multiple skills that are required to be successful in their endeavor. Using Voice Typing (Google docs has it for free under “tools”) can allow them to turn their thoughts into writing more easily. (See my video on how to use this here)
Go back and look through the extensive list here and then choose what YOU will try! Remember that if you aren’t doing it, your child is less likely to adopt writing into their daily activities.