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Let's talk writing practice for kids. This is one of my most frequently asked questions……how to help your child with writing practice. These? Five fun and easy options for your child to practice their writing skills!
Thank you to Licefreee for partnering with us for this conversation.
Writing. It's a battle, right? I get it. I get messages about writing practice and frustration with writing everyday and frankly…..it was something that kids also struggled with in the classroom when I taught first grade AND fourth grade. In terms of literacy development, writing is the final step. First children learn to LISTEN to stories and pieces of literature, then then learn to read words (this is when they'll be working primarily on phonics and practicing sight words), then they learn to read and comprehend stories and pieces of nonfiction, THEN then start to learn to really write. Now as a teacher? We're working on these skills on a parallel timeline. Meaning, of course most kindergartners aren't able to read a story on their own…..but they are starting to write sentences and phrases.
Before we talk about ways to practice writing, I think it's important to set appropriate expectations. Writing and learning to write is a developmental process. Younger children? Their writing may not look like you expect (this is a great piece on the stages of writing and what to expect around certain ages). A few thing to keep in mind: there is a difference between practicing writing conventions (grammar and spelling) and the writing process (the process of creating a piece of ideas that flow and excite the reader). Primarily? We are talking about writing practice for the PROCESS. Conventions are a very small part of writing (and frankly are a very small part of most writing grades) yet as adults we tend to fixate on them.
Writing Practice For Kids: 5 Easy and Fun Options
With any of these…….this is supposed to be FUN. Focus on the process, the structure and the FUNCTION (why are we writing this? What's the real life reason we write this way). No need to fixate on spelling or perfection.
Letter Writing and Pen Pals: There's something so fun about snail mail. Kids love getting mail with their own names on it, and sending off their own items. From joining a pen pal club to writing to authors…..there are really fun ways to make letter writing a regular thing. Lydia sends postcards to her grandma and she loves it!
Grocery Lists and Menu Planning: Who doesn't love to be in charge of a meal? Especially over the holidays. Let your child plan a fancy meal with all their favs and then have them be responsible for the grocery list (attention to details and sequencing are super important writing skills so this is a great way to practice those)
Make Your Own Graphic Novel: Graphic Novels are having a moment in children's literature. Challenge your child to make their own…..trust me, it's a process and they'll love it!
Tutorial Script: We live in a time of…..video tutorials. For anything from sandwiches and recipes to how to build with blocks. Have your child write a script and then…..film their tutorial.
Messaging with Family: In a time where we use texts and messaging more than ever…..USE that instead of fighting it. Let your child text or message with a family member, they'll LOVE IT!
Bonus Teacher Tip: Ok guys, this is a bonus and very important tip and also one of the tips I gave at Back to School night every year. I’m teaming up with Licefreee for this series on teacher tips and I wanted to be sure to tell y’all WHY. Here’s the deal, no one knows more about lice than teachers. And guess what? At SOME point, your child will probably get lice. It’s inevitable. It’s part of the elementary school experience and nothing is worse as a parent than discovering it in the middle of the week late at night. The last thing you want is to be unprepared. So at Back to School night? I told parents to get a lice treatment and to keep it on hand. Trust me, this is a pro tip that you’ll thank me for later when you’re not running to the store at 9 pm.
Are you planning some fun writing practice for kids in your family? Which of these will you try first?