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How to Encourage Kids to Love Writing

Aug 16, 2008
When you give your children a writing assignment, do they complain and whine about it? I had the same problem, until I discovered something last summer which made all the difference - when my children had a purpose for their writing, they were more willing to complete the assignments. Along the way, my kids learned the process of writing format through publishing.

All three of my children are published authors. For example, my son wrote an ABC jungle book at the age of 8. It took him a full year studying the jungle and its animals to choose the best plants and animals for his book. He then wrote a paragraph for each letter, referring to the Excellence in Writing style checklist to make sure his writing was of professional quality.

Of course, he didn't work on his book for eight hours a day, every day for a year. After all, he's just a kid! The amazing thing is that he remained motivated all year long. Because of his efforts, he was able to complete his book at the beginning of June.

He was highly motivated for a couple of reasons. First, he chose the topic of jungles himself so he was quite interested in the topic from the beginning. Secondly, the idea of making money from his writing project and publishing a book was exciting. This project gave him a purpose for writing. Not every writing project will end in a money-making project, but each writing assignment should have a purpose.

Not all writing assignments lead to a money-making opportunity - there are many other ways to introduce purpose into your child's writing. Experiment, and look for new reasons to write. Perhaps your child can write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper on a preferred topic; enter a poem or story in a writing contest; share news in a letter with family or friends; or write a story about an incident in their life. Be creative, and find new reasons for your children to write - they will approach their writing with a fresh outlook and increased enthusiasm.

After your child has a purpose for writing, they need to get their ideas out of their head and onto paper. Ideas have to be arranged in a logical order, and then the writing process can begin. Teaching Writing: Structure & Style is the best product to teach kids how to write. It teaches your children to write for a variety of purposes like letters, stories, and essays.

You can give your child(ren) a great reason for writing when you use the process of writing format through publishing. Try to integrate writing into any subject you are studying with your child. Writing should never be treated as a separate topic, since it is a valuable skill that transcends the subject material. By encouraging your child to write on a range of topics, he (or she!) will understand the purpose that writing has in all aspects of life.
About the Author
Kerry Beck helps teachers and homeschool moms about the process of writing format through publishing. She offers a free mini-course to show you how to teach writing at Teaching Writing.
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