Four language mastering aspects include speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Writing is an exceptionally specialized area because it requires conscious decision-making, technical skill, and engaging in one’s creative drive. Plenty of writers have started their careers from this hobby which stemmed from their imagination and passion. Even those who don’t pursue creative jobs will find writing practical, like business writing, making resumes, etc.
However, recent news shared that the rate of children who write as a hobby is decreasing. This finding is concerning because writing is a part of developing literacy, which is necessary for future and social success.
Why is it Important to Teach Children to Write?
Writing is one of the many skills children learn in their early years. As children begin to grow, they’ll need to tune their fine motor skills to tackle more advanced tasks as they grow older.
Writing helps children develop the small muscles in their hands, which are responsible for gripping, moving, flexing, hand-eye coordination, and more.
Writing is also a key component of communication. Teaching children to write can help improve their communication clears as they jot down their thoughts and feelings through the written word. People who read their output will understand what message they’re trying to convey.
Another importance of teaching writing to children is it enhances their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. As children write down words on paper, they’ll need to think about what they need to say and how to say it. Additionally, they will need to convey their thoughts logically yet eloquently, thus requiring lots of brain work.
Writing helps with organization. Aside from selecting the right words, children will learn the proper composition structure, including an introduction, body, and conclusion. The more children practice writing, the more they’ll be able to plan and structure their writing, thus, helping them develop their decision-making skills.
Writing also helps with memory retention. Many students studying for a test can attest that writing down notes help them retain information. However, writing to remember can also be used for tasks like making a shopping list, taking notes during class, and relaying messages to others when someone calls.
Lastly, writing is therapeutic. Writing isn’t purely for academic and career-related goals. It can also be an activity because it taps into our creative side and allows us to discover a new part of ourselves. Journaling, also known as writing one’s thoughts and feelings on paper, can help individuals process and organize their emotions. Many therapists suggest journaling to people because it can be relaxing and fun.
So, how can we make writing fun for children?
While writing is a valuable skill, children may feel it becomes daunting depending on how parents and teachers approach it.
However, one way to help children gain skills faster is to make it enjoyable as they start improving their skills. Here are some handy tips to make writing fun for children:
1. Use appropriate writing tools.
Depending on the child’s age, parents and teachers should learn to help them pick the appropriate writing tools so they can learn the basics of writing. Toddlers, for instance, may benefit from non-toxic and washable markers that are easy to grip and handle.
Since they’re pretty young, parents and teachers should monitor them closely and focus on improving their fine motor skills.
Children will move from easy-grip crayons and markers to pencils and pens as they age.
2. Read various types of literature to children.
Reading and writing go together when it comes to teaching literacy. For children to write well, they need to understand what writing can bring, including stories, poems, jokes, and word games.
After reading an age-appropriate story to children, consider having an activity after where you encourage children to write about their favorite characters in the story and why they like them.
3. Give them “freedom time” to explore writing independently.
While teaching children proper spelling and grammar is essential, being overly strict on the technical aspect of writing can sap their overall enjoyment. To keep children engaged, consider giving them free time to write whatever they want without limits. During this time, they can add doodles, scribbles, and whatever else they want. The point of this exercise also helps them channel thoughts and feelings onto people.
4. Let them write what interests them.
Another way to get children to enjoy writing is to let them focus on what they like. Some examples include encouraging them to write about their favorite person, hobby, or animal. Whatever prompt you decide, encourage children to write honestly to excite them.
5. Encourage them to share what they’ve written.
After children have written their prompts, parents and teachers may encourage them to read their work out loud. Teaching children to read their work enables them to improve their communication skills. At the same time, they also develop their confidence in sharing their thoughts and feelings.
6. Inject arts and crafts into writing activities.
While essays and short stories can be great prompts to help children develop their writing skills, these formats can be labor-intensive and need a lot of time to master. One way to make writing enjoyable is to inject some arts and crafts into activities. Some examples include making thank-you notes, holiday cards, and letters.
Writing is essential for developing literacy and determining a person’s success in school, work, and social life. Aside from success, writing is a creative endeavor encouraging people to connect with their thoughts and feelings.
There are plenty of reasons why we should teach children to write at an early age. Aside from improving their fine motor skills, writing can help them develop certain brain areas, including organization and decision-making.
However, recent news shows that the rate at which children write for fun has decreased. This finding can be alarming because writing as a skill is not only necessary for literacy but also can be a therapeutic tool.
Nevertheless, there are ways in which we can make writing fun for children. Depending on their age, picking the right tools, prompts, and activities can help enhance their writing skill while also finding it enjoyable.