Colorin Colorado: Helping children read... and succeed!
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Encourage Your Child to Write

By: Colorín Colorado (2007)

Reading and writing are two skills that reinforce each other. Even when children are in kindergarten, they can start writing stories!

Here are some ways to help your child practice writing:

Don't worry about spelling mistakes

When your child is first learning to write, it doesn't matter if he or she makes spelling mistakes. In kindergarten, children learn how to hold a pencil, that sentences begin with a capital letter, that you need spaces between words, and much more. For now, it's just important that your child tries to write and sound out letters and share his or her thoughts.

Find reasons for your child to write

As your child gets more comfortable with writing, try to think of reasons to write – ask him or her to write the grocery list, thank-you notes, or birthday cards. The more practice your child gets, the better!

Make a writing kit

Find a box or basket and fill it with paper, crayons, books, pens, and pencils. Have him or her add things to the box. This makes it easy to find all the things your child needs to practice writing.

Be your child's #1 fan

Show you care about your child's homework and writing assignments. Ask your child to read aloud what he or she has written. Be an enthusiastic listener. Give your child encouragement. Writing is hard work! Give him or her the courage and motivation to keep trying.

Have your child create a book

Make a book by folding pieces of paper in half and stapling them together. By second grade, your child should be able to write his or her own stories, with different sentences on each page. Ask your child to add drawings to the book. Put it (and your child's other writings) where everyone can see them.

Read together every day

Read with your child for at least 15 minutes each day. Experts say this is one of the most important things you can do! Make reading together a warm and loving time. See Fun and Effective Ways to Read with Children for ideas.