Learning and Improving Basic Writing Skills

Learning and Improving Basic Writing Skills

Writing is a skill for children to help them have a better understanding of their reading materials / Photo by Timlewisnm via Flickr

 

Writing is an important skill that is used not only in school but also in everyday life. It is a form of communication that can help in articulating one's thoughts and complete tasks. In children, it helps them to have a better understanding of their reading material as well as building up a grade point average.

On the other hand, not all kids like writing, which shows in their school works. They may only do so if they have to do their assignments, but writing may not be a big part of a child's daily life. This can lead to poor writing skills as they grow and develop. Writing may not be an easy task for everyone, leaving them frustrated and discouraged. However, there are interventions that parents can do to help their child enhance and enrich their writing skills at home.

 

Enhancing a Child’s Writing Skills

According to Very Well Family, parents should focus on developing the blocks of good writing. An environment rich in language is the base for developing good writing. Activities that can build up a child's vocabulary can raise the range of words that they will know to write with depth. 

They can also check their kid's homework for errors in spelling and punctuation. This way, parents can know the level of their child's writing skills and improve from there. If they are tasked to make a writing report at home, parents can help in writing a draft first and check it for any errors before finalizing it.

Parents should also keep pens and papers at hand for any spontaneous writing games and activities. They can make writing a regular habit by asking their child to write notes for their siblings or friends. It may even be as simples as designating them the task to write the shopping list.

 

An environment rich in language is the base for developing good writing skills / Photo by Woodleywonderworks via Flickr

 

Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer, authors of "The Well-Trained Mind," said there are two steps of the writing process for students at the elementary level. The first is practicing oral; encouraging the child to talk about what they want to write. The next step is to practice their dictation; learning to write down words by copying sentences from story dictation. This step can teach them about sentence and paragraph structure.

Tutoring service, Sylvan Learning, stated that using strong vocabulary words at home and incorporating them in oral and written communication can help a child to utilize them in their writing. They also advise encouraging writing for different purposes and use technology to their advantage (e.g. using a spell and grammar checker software).

Parents can also write together with their child. Children are natural observers so if they see their parents enjoy writing, they are bound to do the same. There should be an allotted time for writing so that it can steadily improve.

Types of Writing Styles

Having knowledge about the different kinds of writing styles not only helps a child improve but also develop their own unique style in this particular skill. Writing can be good for their emotional and mental health, as some research found that expressive writing interventions are promising for teens' well-being.

There are four main types of writing styles that most books, stories, and even studies can be categorized into a narrative, descriptive, expository, or persuasive writing.

Very Well Family defines narrative as a way to tell a story. This style is usually used in writing personal essays, fictional stories, plays, or even a summarization of a story. Narrative writing is the most used style of writing and students typically pour a lot of time practicing this. It is commonly set in the first-person point of view (POV) and follows a sequence of a beginning, middle, and end.

Descriptive Writing is a style wherein a writer can create a vivid picture of their thoughts. It is simply painting a story with words—focused on a subject and uses specific detail to relate it on what one is focused on. Descriptive is typically used in fiction and non-fiction to describe their characters, setting, and idea.

Expository Writing is used when the writer wishes to explain an idea. It is usually based on facts without the author's opinions or background. Simply put, it is giving solid facts to the reader which can sometimes feel dense and dry. Expository writing is usually found in newspaper articles, academic journals, business memos, and textbooks, according to PrepScholar.com.

Persuasive Writing is when the author wants the reader to think or do a certain thing. It is a type of writing used to express an idea—backed up by facts or other perspectives—to convince the reader to have the same sentiments. This style is typically found in a debate speech, advertisements, opinion articles, and reviews of books, movies, or restaurants.

Julie Bogart at Bravewriter.com noted that it is common for children at the elementary level to be poor writers. This is due to the fact that it takes at least 10 years of writing practice to start writing well. But parents should not worry too much. With enough and constant practice, a child will begin to improve their writing skills.