How Can I Help My Child with Writing?

  • Buy books as presents
  • Play games such as Scrabble that focus on letter patterns
  • Take an active interest in TV programs watched by children
  • Talk with children about their interests
  • Take delight in children's use of new words and encourage them to use the words in conversation
  • Try simple crosswords with children
  • Encourage children to write riddles, puzzles or letters for the children's pages of newspapers
  • Encourage children to write postcards, letters, lists
  • Help children to contribute to writing family shopping lists
  • Ask children to underline any words that they think are misspelled in their writing
  • Let children see that adults consult dictionaries
  • Encourage children to read a variety of functional material eg simple recipes, TV guides, newspapers, how to make...
  • Show children how adults spell a difficult word eg write it two or three times and choose the one that looks right
  • Be patient and supportive
  • Encourage children to make up plays for the family (children may write the script)
  • Buy puzzle books that include word games
  • Talk about informational books like atlases or street directories and how they are set out eg contents, index, glossary, headings, diagrams, graphs etc
  • Talk about ways to remember the spelling of tricky words eg the word "here" is in "there"
  • Take children to see suitable "live" theatre performances
  • Help children see relationships among words
  • Help children make generalisations about spelling
  • Encourage children to write stories or books for younger brothers and sisters
  • Talk about the layout of newspapers
  • Write family rosters
  • Be prepared to talk through homework tasks so that children clarify their planning and thinking
  • Talk about writing tasks undertaken at school
  • Provide a quiet study area for children
  • Be prepared to discuss writing tasks with children
  • Encourage children to continue to read and write for information and pleasure
  • Discuss current events
  • Talk about the mass media and its influence on society
  • Encourage children to use writing to get things done eg letters to politicians, newspapers etc
  • Encourage children to use writing to express their feelings and respect their privacy if they choose to keep personal diaries or letters
  • Play word games, talk about word meanings
  • Encourage children to use dictionaries and thesauruses independently
  • Understand that the process of writing and refining writing for publication takes time
  • Understand that writing is for different purposes and audiences
  • Understand that different types of writing require different language, setting out and special vocabulary eg a business letter is not the same as a letter to a pen pal