One thing, I believe, most parents dread is when our children come home with a writing assignment they don't understand.
Many times, the topic of the paper was discussed in the classroom, but exactly what needs to be written will come from the child's own creativity, and they do not know where to begin.
Most kids see things as a whole. They do not break things down into steps.
My generation relied on the outline. We wrote down topics and subtopics to plan our papers.
Because our children are growing in an ever increasing age of Visual and Hands on Learning Environments, it can be difficult for them to sit down and come up with ideas for writing assignments on their own.
I taught Junior High for 13 years, and was blessed to teach English for the last nine of them.
My son is home schooled through a digital school called, Treca.
Each day, he is required to write a few sentences in a journal.
Before we began, I sat down and wrote out about 40 age appropriate topics for a seven year old. I folded up each slip of paper with a topic on it, and I put them in a treasure box.
There are many great topics to choose from, but there are also great websites available to help you come up with them. Just type in your search browser, "Journal topics for..." and then place in the appropriate age.
The morning we begun our writing, I sat down with my son, and I pulled out the treasure chest. He closed his eyes, and picked a topic. This one act alone causes him to love to write in his journal.
He picked, "I Am Happy When..."
A friend of mine was over and she sat and listened to my son plan his paper. I simply began by asking him to tell me when he was happy.
It is amazing what happens when a child is doing his assignment totally unaware they are doing so, simply because they are sharing their heart on a subject.
My son gave me over ten answers, and I wrote them down as he gave them to me. Then I showed him all his answers, and told him that he had just planned ten whole sentences for his journal entry. He was only required to do three. He was able to go beyond the expectations because the questions were asked and answered before the paper was written.
Those who write anything, understand the importance of the mental element that goes into the material that they write. Teaching children how to plan first, before they write, by using discussion is an excellent way to help them to get their creative sides flowing.
My friend who was over, watching our lesson, is now making a treasure box of topics for her daughter.
No matter the age of your child, we as parents can help them learn to write by asking them questions, writing out the answers, and then writing the paper.
Let's help our children become better writers.