Source : Will Milner , ehow.com
No matter how smart your child is, poor writing skills can hold him back academically. Bad habits developed at a young age can become ingrained and are difficult to break later. However, younger children usually are very receptive to learning language skills, and a little extra help can go a long way. As with most skills, writing is best practiced often. Using the exercises embedded within games and activities can help.
- Help your child with reading. Vocabulary, style and creativity in writing are fueled by a familiarity with written words. It doesn't have to be restricted to fiction or even to books. Magazines and newspapers are valuable sources.
- Check that your child understands all the words. Ask him to write down any words he doesn't know in a notebook. Then help him to look them up. Deliberately use those words in conversation with your child, to reinforce the lesson.
- Develop your child's spelling ability by playing quick games to help him recognize and use letter patterns. Choose a letter pattern such as "-tion" or "-ight" and take turns thinking of words that include it. See how many your child can write down correctly. Try to do this every few days.
- Encourage your child to write neatly by hand. Although handwriting is becoming less important in education, it is still vital that children write legibly. The most important point to get across is the size and spacing of the letters. Practice writing on squared paper, getting the letters to fit into the boxes neatly. Explain that speed stems from smooth style, not the other way around.
- Demonstrate why punctuation is important by devising some sentences that mean different things when punctuated differently. Children often find it hard to see the point of punctuation, so it helps to highlight its importance by using ambiguous sentences. Ask your child to compose some of his own.
- Develop your child's creativity in writing by helping him write stories, letters or diaries. For younger children, put all the emphasis on expanding their ideas and finding novel ways to describe things. Teach them about similes, then play a game to see who can describe things with the best similes.
- Help older children to develop and understand structure in their writing. Give them beginnings, middles and endings to stories, and get them to write the adjoining parts. Help them to brainstorm ideas and then arrange them into a logical order before writing.