Have Fun Writing With Kids
There are so many reasons to take on writing projects with your child. Whether you save it for summer break or practice all year long, it's a wonderful way to bond with children and teach them at the same time. The fun thing about writing is that you end up with a tangible result. Notebooks are cheap. Stock up on them in the fall when you can buy them for pennies and you will have all you need.
Writing projects can lend structure to long summer days. Practicing writing skills over the summer will also make those first few days and weeks of school easier in the fall. If you're not on the traditional calendar, look at some of these projects as an addition to your child's regular schoolwork. Summer break lends itself to a longer, connected type of project, but remember, even if you've only got a few minutes, you can use it!
Need ideas? Click here for great Writing Projects.
Make Writing Fun
Don't be picky. Don't worry about spelling or grammar. Let these writing exercises be fun. When my daughter was in Kindergarten, she loved to scribble lines that looked somewhat like writing and then ‘read' her story back to me. That is fine. Don't make it hard on yourself or on the child by putting expectations on writing.
Family Writing Time
It's wonderful to write together as a family because everyone has their own level. It's independent, but it can be done at the same time. You may find you get as much out of it as they do. Not everyone has to write on the same topic at the same time. You'll be surprised how much you can capture on paper about your memories of childhood camping trips in the ten minutes your children are creating an imaginary creature.
How to Write With Kids
Explain to the child how it's going to work. You're going to time the writing and it will be a silent activity. The only rule is that the writer must keep writing the entire time. So that means no complaining that he doesn't know what to write. If he can't think of anything to write he needs to make a list, write the same word over and over, or simply write ‘I don't know what to write'. (Grown-ups are more likely to do this - kids write because they haven't yet been told enough times that they don't have anything important to say.) They can even draw if they'll promise to write a little something about what they've drawn.
Set a timer for five or ten minutes depending on the age of the child and go. Give a one-minute warning when time's almost up. If there is more than one writer, it's fun to share what we wrote, but make sure kids know they don't have to read what they've written out loud if they don't want to. Same goes adults. The point is for all writers to feel free to write whatever they want.
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