Regardless of whether or not your child wishes to grow up and write the Great American Novel, it’s essential for all students to maintain sharp writing skills throughout the durations of their academic years and into their future careers.
Writing is used in a multitude of settings, especially in a world in which email is often a main means of communication for individuals in their various careers. Thus, not only will maintaining strong writing skills be useful to students during elementary, high school, and college, but doing so will also benefit them in their future pursuits, as well.
Quality writing doesn’t necessarily come solely from academic papers and essays. In fact, students can continue and even improve their abilities to bring words to life on paper through more creative and personal forms of writing.
Journaling — Consistently writing in journals allows students to develop and refine their own unique writing styles without the pressures of being graded on mechanics. Instead, they are able to focus on their thoughts and develop appreciations and joys for writing. Over time, those grammar and sentence structure skills students have already learned in school will continue to improve, especially with consistent practice.
As a bonus, in addition to the educational benefits, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can also help individuals reduce their levels of stress and manage any existing anxieties they might be facing.
Creating scrapbooks and photo journals — Scrapbooks tell stories, and placing memories on tangible pages and creating brief descriptions of what’s occurring in the various photographs allows students to tap into their creative skills to tell these stories. In doing so, they’re able to build upon their writing skills through the planning and execution processes before then putting their grammar and spelling abilities into practice as they double-check their work that will be featured in books meant to be seen by many eyes.
Communicating with pen pals — When students have other individuals with whom they regularly communicate via writing, they are able to hone their writing skills by turning their thoughts into words on paper (or on the computer screen). Students write with meaning and senses of purpose. They’re also able to feel more connected with their writing, as it’s a bit more personal and geared toward very specific audiences, and to proofread it for proper spelling and grammar.
Many teachers still incorporate the practice of writing letters to pen pals into their classrooms, allowing their students to connect with peers across the nation or sometimes even across the world. As always, it’s important to monitor students’ communications with these pen pals and also ensure they are not disclosing personal information.
Giving homemade cards for birthdays and holidays — Similar to letters sent to pen pals, homemade cards for special occasions also carry personal significance for those who make them. Having students create cards for others and include personalized notes to the individuals receiving them enables them to construct appropriate messages for their friends and once again focus on using correct grammar, spelling, and syntax in doing so to make sure they are as flawless as they can be for the intended recipients.
Reading more often — Reading consistently helps students gain knew perspectives and knowledge and also grasp better understandings of language and vocabulary. They are able to familiarize themselves more with how stories are told and how ideas are put together into meaningful works. Actor, writer, and film producer Steven Wright once said, “It usually helps me write by reading — somehow the reading gear in your head turns the writing gear.”
All of these activities can help your child develop a deeper vocabulary and be more capable of transferring his or her ideas into comprehensive words both in the classroom setting and in future career opportunities. Whether it’s through writing assignments focused on more specific academic subjects or sillier and more creative tactics, the more your child is writing, the better.