Fostering A Love of Writing at Home

Last week I was asked to talk to parents at a local school about writing. I made the following points in my presentation. Writing (and Reading) is not just for School! It needs to easily move in and out the classroom. As teachers we want to pull down the classroom walls and spread the learning surrounding writing as far as possible.I urged parents to support these efforts and suggested some actions to aid writing development. Creating a bridge between school and home for young learners is always a great building project in which to be actively involved.                                                                                                                                                                          

Set Up A Place at HOME

  • It doesn’t have to be a desk, but it must be comfortable.
  • Provide a basket of engaging books
  • Provide writing materials-notebook, assorted paper, scissors, glue, magazines Not too many items and rotate them occasionally
  • Notice reading and writing in the world
  • Notice people reading/writing
  • Draw attention to print in the environment –signs, menus, noticeboards, on buses
  • Encourage the making of signs, menus, lists
  • Connect the contexts and the fact that writing conveys messages
  • Encourage playing with words –word games!
  • I reminded them they are their child’s First Teacher, First Model.
  • Shopping lists, notes, cards and messages are great opportunities for home literacy. Such writing tasks are authentic grown up things. They teach that writing has a purpose and an audience.
  • Leave notes In school lunchboxes, school bags, around the house. Ask your child to leave you notes/pictures. You are teaching that writing conveys meaning.
  • Give writing related gifts -a variety of pencils, markers, writing pads, post it notes, personal writer’s notebooks and BOOKS make excellent gifts. 
  • Doing such things fosters a love of writing.

Offer Meaningful Praise for Effort

I notice…
I see that you have tried…
You have worked hard on this piece of writing…
Resist the urge to correct everything. Understand that writing grows with practice, time and experience, not constant correction.

Every writer grows with practice and experimentation. No one asks you to be a writer. It is something one chooses to do.

Writing Is A Portable Skill

A writer’s notebook is a great travelling companion.
Encourage your child to bring a writer’s notebook whenever you go on a family outing. Visiting Grandma, the dentist, a restaurant. Anywhere there is potential down time. Encourage comments, wonderings, drawings.

You Can’t Be A Writer Unless You’re A Reader!

Read to and with your child
Encourage them to tell and write their stories
Find the best books for your child
Take advantage of libraries

Tell Your Stories

Tell the stories of your own childhood and encourage them to tell their own unique stories. Speak with detail. As a parent you want your child to develop as an independent, self directed learner. If you demonstrate those same attributes your child will come to see you as someone who values- Reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Children need to see:
  • Adults demonstrating curiosity and wonder about the world in which they live. 
  • Adults who are brave learners and risk takers. 
  • Adults who are joyfully literate!


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