FOR PARENTS >>
Just as students learn to read best by reading, writers learn best by writing.
Writing at Ludlow-Taylor
In Writing Workshop, our teachers encourage students to write about their own lives, use a consistent process, work in authentic ways, and develop independence as writers. Parents can support their students and foster a love of writing beyond school.
How Can Parents Support Writer’s at Home?
There are lots of ways for kids to practice writing at home, including helping to make a grocery list, writing a story, or typing an e-mail to a friend or relative. Listed below are some of the ways parents can foster a love for writing beyond school.
CREATE A WRITING SPACE FOR YOUR CHILD
Designate a clean and quiet space as your student’s writing space. Stock the “writing center” with supplies such as paper, pencils and crayons. Gather family photos and magazines in the center that can be used as story starters. You may even want to leave a few of your own writing pieces there for your child to explore.
READ, READ, READ!
The best activity to improve writing is reading. If your student reads good books, he will be a better writer. Reading exposes students to general vocabulary, word study and content-specific vocabulary. Through reading, students see a variety of authors’ techniques that they can use in their own writing.
ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO KEEP A REFLECTIVE JOURNAL
This is excellent writing practice, as well as a good outlet for venting feelings. Encourage your student to write about things that happen at home and school. This reflective journal can be used to develop the “senses” of writing. Have your student write about what he saw, heard or felt on a trip or adventure. Provide experiences in your community that will interest your student and spark her writing. Especially encourage your student to write about personal feelings — pleasures as well as disappointments. When reading your student's journal (only if your she invites you to, of course), share your own feelings and ideas paired with positive feedback about your the writing.
PROVIDE AUTHENTIC WRITING OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR STUDENT
Have your student write his own thank-you notes, party invitations and letters to family. Let your him make the grocery list. Finding a pen pal for your student would make writing “real.” Helping children make the connection between writing and the “real” world will increase an interest in writing.
BE A WRITING MODEL
Make sure your student sees you as a writer. Point out times that you use writing to communicate with others. Discuss authentic writing in the community such as articles and letters in the newspaper, on billboards or in written advertisements. Discuss the purpose of the writing and the target audience. When your student writes, you should write. You can schedule a day of the week that you will turn off the television and share your writing.
START A VOCABULARY NOTEBOOK
Teach your student new words each week and encourage her to use them. Make it into a game and give points for using the new words. Your student can keep a vocabulary notebook and get rewarded for the number of new words learned. The words will begin to appear like magic in her oral language and writing.
Always ask your student questions when he writes. Ask specific questions about her writing such as: “How did that happen?” “How did that make you feel?” “Can you tell me more about that…?” “What are some other words you could use to describe…?”
HELP YOUR STUDENT PUBLISH HER WRITING
Share her writing with others, place it on the refrigerator or encourage her to write for kids’ magazines. When your student’s writing is published in a children’s book, she will be on her way to becoming a lifelong writer and author.