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Free Online Writing Courses: Teach Kids to be Better Writers

Updated on August 30, 2013

improve writing skills for kids

It’s really never too soon to start teaching basic writing skills, and with this installment of my free online writing courses, I’ll provide you with some tips that can improve writing skills for kids. I use these with my grandchildren, and it’s already paying off. My oldest one, Jonathan, is in second grade, and according to his teachers, he’s the best writer in the class. I don’t take all the credit for this, but I’m sure a couple of my strategies helped. Maybe he was born with a great imagination, and my informal instruction allowed him to harness it and channel it into his writing and storytelling.

Improve writing skills - Increase vocabulary

Obviously, kids begin learning words at a very young age. At that point, their brains are like sponges, and they’re capable of learning a lot more than many parents realize. Take full advantage of this learning capacity whenever you can. I do this in an informal way. I began when the grands were very young by reading to them. Whenever we’d come across a word I wasn’t sure they knew the meaning of, I’d take time out to explain the meaning of the word to them. After they understood the meaning, I’d work on application – using the word correctly in a sentence. Knowing and using more words is the foundation for writing and is needed to improve writing skills.

This can also be done while watching movies and television shows. When you teach a new vocabulary word to kids, use the word in conversation a few times to instill the meaning, especially if it’s a more difficult word.

Improve writing skills - Details and descriptive words

Details and descriptive words are very important in writing, and this is another way you can improve writing skills with kids. We sometimes play a game that addresses this aspect of writing skills. Again, this can be done informally. For example, you can choose any object and see how many adjectives the child can come up with in describing it. Just about any item will do. Take a pencil, for example. Adjectives your child might come up with include hard, long, skinny, yellow, etc. Make it a fun contest to keep it interesting.

Improve writing skills - Cause and effect

Cause and effect is another important aspect to many forms of writing. You can use story books, cartoons, and movies to teach this skill. When something happens in the narrative, stop and ask the child, “Why do you think that happened?” You can also ask the child to anticipate what will happen next in the plot: “Okay, so Chicken Little thinks the sky is falling. What do you think he’s going to do?” When the child answers, ask him why he thinks the way he does.

Another way to hone future writing skills is by using progressive stories. This works especially well if you’re working with more than one kid. You begin an oral story, and each child will add to it, taking up where the former player left off. Not only does this help with cause and effect, it also allows kids to use their imagination.

Cause and effect is extremely important in both writing skills and reading and comprehension skills. It’s a big part of many standardized tests, too.

Improve writing skills - Organization skills

Writing skills also include organization. Kids need to understand that stories should have a definite beginning, middle, and end. Later, the same will be true of essays they’ll have to write. The use of progressive stories, mentioned above, will help with this. Another way to increase organizational writing skills is to get the child to make up oral stories on their own.

My granddaughters love to play this “game” with me! They’re obsessed with scary stories, for some reason, so we take turns telling each other such tales. Keep you expectations reasonable, however. You won’t get a Stephen King novel from a four-year-old child, but after a little practice, you’ll be surprised with some of the stories they come up with!


Observing details and being able to recall them can also help with writing skills. One way to do this is to have the child re-tell a favorite story, cartoon episode, or movie in their own words. A year or so ago, Jonathan had viewed one of the Star Wars movies, and I asked him about it. He talked for two hours, nonstop, re-telling the movie plot to me! He was six at the time. With younger children, use something short and simple, of course.

Read, read, read!

I can’t stress enough how important reading is, especially to young children. They’re never too young to be read aloud to. Make reading or story time a part of every day. Set aside a few minutes to spend this quality time with your kids. Allow them to ask questions whenever they want, and you should ask them questions, too, if they’re old enough to understand and answer. Doing so is a great way to check for comprehension.

If you want to learn more about improving writing skills, check out my free online writing courses. I’ve covered a variety of topics, and I’ll be adding more. To utilize my free online writing courses, click the links below!


Jonathan, on the right, is a great writer...and a great little fisherman!
Jonathan, on the right, is a great writer...and a great little fisherman!


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    • DebraHargrove profile image

      Debra Hargrove 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      This is a great article especially for a parent to understanding how vital reading and writing is to children. I have always enjoyed writing ever since I was a kid. Great article on the benefits to writing.

    • Maggie.L profile image


      7 years ago from UK

      A really useful hub! I like your idea of taking any item and asking your child to come with as many adjectives as possible to describe it. Will be trying these out with my 7 year old. Thank you!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I wish my parents had done these things for me and my brother when we were little so we'd be better writers now. I'm struggling with college writing courses. I have great math skills, but writing comes hard. Now I want to read all your online writing course articles.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      very nice

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      9 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great Hub voted up!!!

    • profile image


      9 years ago


    • jbrock2041 profile image


      9 years ago from Park City, UT

      I enjoyed reading these suggestions. I don't have any kids but when I do I will definitely teach them with some of these tips. I especially like the progressive story telling. Many memories from my childhood are of all 6 of us children cuddled up in my mother's bed as she read us stories. I'm sure that's why I love reading and writing as much as I do. Thanks for sharing. And great work with your grandchildren.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      it seems like a good site i am new at this......

    • profile image


      9 years ago


    • AnkushKohli profile image

      Ankush Kohli 

      9 years ago from India

      Excellent Article! Lovely kids as well. Especially the junior one.

    • angemac23 profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      Great suggestions!

    • NaomiRuth profile image


      10 years ago

      Great article, very informative. These are the very things I am working on with my children this summer, I will read more of your articles to get possible ideas!! Thanks!!!

    • LULU SUE1987 profile image

      LULU SUE1987 

      10 years ago

      This is a great idea. Kids would benefit with better grades and more success in learning by learning to write.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      10 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great hub! These are wonderful suggestions for both parents and teachers! Looking forward to reading more of your hubs on this topic.

    • themattressfactor profile image


      10 years ago from Philadelphia

      Great insight and keep up the good work. Maybe you should develop some tips for adults too.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you for READING!

    • crystolite profile image


      10 years ago from Houston TX

      Nice,write up.thanks for sharing

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Julie, congrats on your son's success!

    • Julie Simmonds profile image

      Julie Simmonds 

      10 years ago from Ontario

      I'm really enjoying your clear, concise writing. My son loves to read and write.

      I wrote a hub on teaching your child to spell successfully (publishing it soon). My son makes 100% on his spelling exams. It's great!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      SEO, glad you found the writing tips helpful!

      Dobo, that's great! Hope it improves their writing skills.

    • dobo700 profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      Good ideas, I will have to get my kids to have a read.

    • SEO Expert Kerala profile image

      SEO Expert Kerala 

      10 years ago from KERALA

      Great !!!

      you had given me a nice method to teach my student a perfect English without earning a single money.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      HH, I think you've read all my online writing courses hubs. Thanks!

      Rich, cheers to you for reading! lol

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Duchess, I'm honored to have you here!

      Kdl, thank you very much!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Giselle, you sound like a great mom!

      That's a good thing, Rebelchick!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Larry, parental involvement is SO important!

      Teddle, I really appreciate that!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      2besure, I appreciate that!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Exactly, Bpop! Glad you see that.

      Drbj, I won't be surprised if Jonathan becomes a famous writer someday! lol

    • richtwf profile image


      10 years ago

      A useful hub and cheers for sharing!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      It is so nice when you can watch them doing well. It also makes them feel better. Well done.

    • kdlsadun profile image

      Dimuthu Lakmal Thilakarathna 

      10 years ago from Gampaha

      This is a really good article.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      10 years ago

      great idea and article habee. Worth passing on!

    • Rebelchick1 profile image

      Tina Di Troia 

      10 years ago

      Great article habee. I'll probably learn something myself. ;)

    • giselle2323 profile image


      10 years ago from Peterborough, Ontario

      Wonderful Hub! When a child loves to read and write their knowledge base expands. It is our duty to provide as many resources as possible to help them find that love. Thank you for sharing.

    • Teddletonmr profile image

      Mike Teddleton 

      10 years ago from Midwest USA

      habee, your hub Free Online Writing Courses: Teach Kids to be Better Writers is full of insightful and useful information, thanks.

      hub up and useful, shared with my facebook and twitter friends.

    • larryprice5372 profile image

      Larry Wade Price 

      10 years ago from Long Beach, California

      Wonderful article.

      Our children only need encouragement. When we get involved interactively, both of us are rewarded.

      Kid's need to be led, and want to be also. Learning always brings bonding.

      This was a great article that I very much enjoyed.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      10 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Writing is one of the most important skills a child can acquire. Great hub!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      10 years ago from south Florida

      You know what they say about the genes, Holle, so I am looking forward to Jonathan's future writings.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for the valuable info. I can't think of anything in a child's education more important than learning how to write effectively.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Sam!

      Autumn, he'll have to wait a few years before becoming a hubber! lol

    • Autumn Lynn profile image

      Autumn Lynn 

      10 years ago from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

      Great ideas. I try to do a lot of these types of things with my kids but your hub serves as a great reminder. I do think reading is key with kids. My oldest got read to the most, by far, and she also happens to have an exceptional vocabulary and writing ability in spite of the fact that she does not go to an english school. For that reason I am pretty certain that does come from the reading at home-LOL. So when will Jonathan be making his hub pages debut?

    • sameerk profile image


      10 years ago from India

      very nice habee


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