Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How do I help my child with writing?

Ms. Dorothy,
My son's report card said he should "write every day about himself."  Why would a 6 year old need to write about himself every day?  What is he supposed to be writing?  How do I help him if I don't understand the directions?
- Kindergarten Dad

It is wonderful that you want to help your son work on this.  His teacher will probably have some specific instructions that will help you to reach this goal, so make an appointment right away to discuss it.

One of the most common pieces of advice given to writers is that they should write what they know. For very young children who are beginning to write, this will mostly look like writing about what happens in their daily lives.  

Kindergarten is a time for learning to draw with details. Drawing real people, places and events gives them material to begin writing about.  

Things your son has experienced first hand will be easiest to recall and describe, and are probably the stories most important to him.

A story as simple as "I went to the store with my Dad.  We bought a toy.  I like it."  gives your child opportunity to learn a great deal about the construction of  a word, a sentence, and a story, and will become a story he can recall and therefore "read" back.  

Anything your son draws or writes will help him to grow.  Find out what the teacher is hoping for with this report card comment so that your work at home aligns with what is being taught in the classroom.

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