"I Love To Write" Day is observed every November 15th, and I actually really love to write. Unfortunately, in my job as a literacy education consultant, I’ve seen this is not the case for many of our young people. I’m not surprised because so many of our babies equate writing with having to produce boring or hard essays that don’t connect to their identities, and that their teachers eventually mark up with a red pen.
However, writing is a crucial life skill we need to communicate in our personal and professional lives. Students who graduate from high school without competent writing skills are at a disadvantage in college, and beyond. In a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the most sought-after attribute employers wanted in potential staff was strong written communication skills. Writing is not just crucial for future novelists, it is an essential component of many professions.
Children often love to write until the world tells them they don’t do it well. You can keep that love of writing alive by encouraging your child to write for a variety of purposes and in their own voice.
Here's a list of some different types of writing to get you started...
Functional writing is the writing we use in our everyday lives. To practice, have your child write (or help you write):
Narrative writing tells a story. To practice, have your child write:
A real story that happened to them
A real story that happened to someone else
A fictional story about anything they choose
Informational writing is factual, and is meant to explain something to the reader. Even though our children are young, they already have a lot of knowledge they can impart! To practice, have your child write:
A biography about someone they admire
A how-to guide about something on which they are an expert (maybe it’s how to do a cartwheel, or make a sandwich!)
Opinion writing is meant to share your thoughts about a particular subject, including reasons why you think and feel that way. We all have important opinions to share. To practice, have your child write:
A letter to their teacher or principal about something they think could make the school better
A review of a restaurant, toy, tv show, etc.
After your child creates their masterpiece, make a big deal about the writing they produced. Also, write with them! Much like reading, when children see the adults in their lives appreciate writing, they may also find that appreciation.
Happy writing, y’all!