We often hear about the importance of reading with your young children at home, but rarely do we hear people advising to write with your children at home.
Research proves, though, that reading and writing go hand-in-hand, and a child’s reading comprehension greatly improves as his or her writing improves.
A report by the Carnegie Corporation in New York, published by the Alliance For Excellent Education, found that simply increasing the amount of writing that students do will, in fact, improve their reading comprehension.
Now hopefully your child is receiving a good amount of writing instruction in school, but in the current economy, teachers are increasingly pressed for time and resources. Therefore, children could benefit greatly from the introduction of a writing routine at home.
Not sure how to start a writing routine with your child? Hesitant because you don’t know how to teach writing? Don’t worry! It doesn’t need to be difficult. Simply having your children see you write daily, in a journal perhaps, will impact their feelings toward writing and, ideally, show them that writing can be enjoyable.
Once writing becomes part of your own routine, introduce it to your children. Get them their own journal and designate a few minutes each day – perhaps right before bed – to write about the day. It doesn’t need to be a “lesson,” it won’t be graded or critiqued, they simply need the opportunity to practice putting their thoughts on paper.
If your child has trouble getting started, here are some simple journaling ideas to jumpstart them:
- Write 3 positive things that happened today.
- What made you smile today? Why did that make you happy?
- What are you looking forward to right now, and why?
The bottom line is we need children to see that writing doesn’t need to be a laborious task.
It can be something enjoyable that the family does together, and odds are, by encouraging your child to write just a little bit more, you’ll see improvement in their reading as well.