Many of us will remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books ~ freedom to choose your destiny is one of childhood’s greatest gifts.  This article will look at linking reading and writing ~ both are important for literacy acquisition.  And with the technology boom, this generation is writing less.  Learning to write is an ongoing process, and the more fun that we make it for kids, the better readers and writers they will become.  Let’s look at 6 reasons why writing is great for our children.

1. Creative writing takes kids out of their environment

Creative writing allows children to give their brain and body some much-needed relief from everything going on around them.  We all know that play is like a booster shot for kids – it enables their brain to be stress-free, they can engage with and connect with others.  

Imagination is restorative and it’s also an opportunity to step outside your world and any of the challenges that the world presents at the moment,” says Australian Childhood Foundation Founder and chief executive Dr Joe Tucci.

2.  Encourage children to write by hand

Experts encourage children to write their stories by hand first.  New research byLiteracy For Kids now available for schools WA’s Murdoch University shows that children’s handwriting skills can predict their reading and writing abilities later in life.  We often hear about the ‘decline of writing’ and alot of people think we are referring to neat handwriting.

Instead, we are referring to the decline in the ability of your child to communicate what they know so that we can understand it.  When your child handwrites more, they can become better writers.

3.  Writing can empower our children

As one Year 8 student, Amelia,  says, “Writing can help kids turn difficult emotions into positive ones.  Whether you’re writing from your own view or a character’s perspective, especially during Covid times, it’s a really great way to be able to feel what you’re feeling and put it into something that can turn out really amazing.”

Encouraging our kids to have a voice means that they can make valid points very well and it gives us a chance to learn from them.

4. Writing helps with organisation

All good writing has a proper structure to be followed – more often than not it involves having an introduction, body and conclusion.

The more a child practices writing, the easier it is for them to plan and structure their writing according to this plan.

5.  Writing helps with their inquiry skills

To write an essay your child will need to do research and collect data.  What sort of information do they need to seek in order to support their argument? Where will they find this information?

They will need to pick out the best bits out of their research from the countless books and internet pages available for them to peruse and work out a way to consolidate this information.

If they are writing a creative story, they might need to read books to improve their own story’s setting or characters.

6.  Intelligence boost

Creative writing will also help to improve intellectual skills. Their sentence structure, vocabulary and use of punctuation will be notably more advanced than others of the same age who do not practice creative writing. In a world where text speak and emojis are so common, creative writing helps to develop writing skills that are being forgotten about.

It also improves their logical skills. These skills, once developed, can help the child in other subjects, such as Maths, Science and Languages. By developing these fundamental skills, the child can apply these in other areas of learning and succeed, helping to strengthen their self-confidence.

Some Secrets to Writing Top Tales:

1)  Write about something you like.

2)  Read and research to inspire yourself with ideas for stories and characters.

3) Plan first: is it funny? is it sad? is it set in the past/future? is it set in a foreign place/country? is it in a made up world?

4)  Put yourself in your character’s shoes, mind, feelings and heart.

5)  Stretch your vocabulary to help bring your story to life.

6)  Proofread carefully.  Read your story aloud to see how it sounds, which helps with improvement.

In summary

The research is clear: children who begin school with limited writing experience and too much reliance on screens are the group most at risk of falling behind in learning to read and performing at standard year level.  Writing skills cannot be undervalued.  And while technology is a vital tool, studies have confirmed that writing by hand strengthens the learning process.  Brain scan studies show that different parts of the brain are activated when we write by hand versus the parts activated when we type or use the keyboard.

Check out our blogs for more ideas and tips.

Super skills of Reading: How to help your child become a better reader

Steps to Successfully Support Disengaged Learners

See us featured in The Educator Australia magazine

Research confirms that early reading boosts literacy

Boys Love LFB – Here’s what they have to say!

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Why write? Tips for reluctant writers

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