Importance of Writing Skills for Children
Writing means different things to different people.
Ask a poet and they will say writing makes them feel peaceful.
Ask a content writer and they will say their bread and butter depends on it.
Ask a child practising handwriting and you will probably hear moans and groans.
But there is no denying that writing is an intrinsic part of our lives and is closely linked to communication. Think about it. We spend years trying to teach our kids how to use words, language, and speech to communicate. Writing is a natural extension of speech and reading and the importance of writing skills for effective communication cannot be stressed enough.
Why should children improve their writing skills?
In this day of smartphones and laptops do children really need to write well? The simple answer is YES!
Here are some reasons which highlight the importance of writing skills in children:
1. Indicator of reading ability
Keen to raise a reader? Then you must develop their writing skills simultaneously! Experts say that when kids show an early interest in writing they will automatically enjoy reading. The connection between reading and writing runs deep. Teaching children how to write at a young age helps recognize the connection between letter sounds, and the words phonetic sounds create.
2. Communicating innermost thoughts
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Your child may enjoy the fact that writing gives them another way to express themselves. Often times you can learn about what your child is interested in simply by reading their school assignment. The ability to use words to express innermost thoughts is priceless and learning how to write will enable your child to communicate with the world in a more meaningful manner. Focusing on the importance of writing skills will also bring your child’s attention to phonetics and reading comprehension. Through writing your child will be able to communicate and share their unique perspective with others.
3. A skill for life
Writing is not a skill that children will use in school alone. This is a skill that they will use throughout life – from writing down their thoughts to writing resumes. Starting from preschool, writing is closely linked with homework practice, tests, worksheets and much more. This writing workload from school only increases, as the child grows older. But writing doesn’t stop with school. The importance of writing skills holds true for life. The emails that we write daily are a form of written communication too. Being keen on improving writing skills – grammatically and with good vocabulary – will ensure you consistently get better at effective communication.
4. Writing enhances critical thinking
Before putting words down on paper, children need to have a clear sense of what they are about to write. This means organizing their thoughts and processing them before writing them down. Experts say writing enhances problem-solving and critical thinking skills because words need to be written down in a particular order and structure. Thus children clearly need to process information to form words and construct sentences and paragraphs.
5. Writing helps organize thoughts
Writing stories with a clear beginning, middle, conflict, and ending requires a certain level of thought organization. When children are asked to write stories, they will have to organize their thoughts to be able to present it in writing in a coherent manner.
6. Writing encourages creativity and imagination
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Writing offers a blank canvas for your child’s imagination. Putting pen to paper is not just therapeutic for many but a great outlet for their creativity. Stories, poems, journal writing, scrapbooking are all great ways to encourage children to explore their creativity and imagination. Thus, the importance of writing skills extends beyond just assignments and exams.
Tips To Get Your Child Excited About Writing
Stressing to your child the importance of writing skills and asking them to write a story over and over again, may pressurize them to a point where they won’t feel like writing at all. Instead, why not play a few fun games that are guaranteed to make writing less of a chore and more fun?
- Picture Prompts: For younger kids use pictures to prompt a story. Show one flashcard with multiple elements and slowly increase the number of flashcards as they get comfortable. They can imagine places, settings, characters, and incidents and write a short story.
- Use random word prompts: Pick four random words. For example, book, Mumbai, dog, ship and ask your child to write a story that features all four words prominently.
- Script a new ending: Older kids will love doing this! Tell them a common story and ask them to write a new ending. Let their imagination run wild and you will end up seeing classic tales with a twist at the end!
- Twist the tale around: Imagine if Goldilocks had actually walked in when the bears were still at breakfast. Or if Red Riding Hood had taken a wrong turn in the forest while walking to her grandmother’s cottage. What would have happened? This is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and to see where your child’s imagination takes them.
- Throw in a character or two: Pick two stories similar in one particular manner – it could be a city setting, or both stories could have evil villains. Now merge the two stories together. Ask your child to write what would happen when characters from Story A meet characters from Story B. Now this is where things get interesting!
- Comic book capers: Children love comic books so why not do a fun writing activity that involves writing dialogue for comic book characters? Give your child a story that has some of their favourite comic book characters and ask them to write dialogue for the characters. This is a great way to teach children how to write dialogues.
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Remember every child learns at a different pace. Writing well is not a skill that develops overnight. Reading books are always the best source for reading prompts or for exposure to different forms of writing. You can read some of the best books in children’s literature right now on GetLitt! To get more ideas on how to improve writing skills, we recommend these English writing books that work specifically on writing reports, essays, stories, etc Read all about these books here on GetLitt! Is your child showing interest in writing stories? Then hone that skill with these easy tips!
We hope you enjoyed reading about why writing is not a dying art. Make sure to start your child off right on their writing journey and then watch as the sky is the limit for your child’s imagination!
Feature Image Courtesy School Start Buddy
Rati Ramadas Girish is a true manifestation of an urban nomad. She has lived and learned in India, Saudi Arabia, Europe, and the USA. She began her career as a journalist with NDTV and then worked as a folklorist in Houston, Texas. Somewhere along the way she developed an irrepressible love for children’s literature and even wrote and published short stories in anthologies. Presently, she writes from home surrounded by her muses —two sons, a large dog, and her indulgent husband.