Helping Children with Writing at Home

Writing is an important skill for your child to master. A large part of a child achieving writing success is to help them to develop a love of writing.  At Te Mata School we focus on the quality (interesting detail, vivid descriptions, great vocabulary) of what the child has written rather than the quantity (length). You can help your child improve their writing at home using the following tips.

Make writing fun

  • Help your child write about their heroes, sports events, tīpuna (ancestors), hobbies, and interests. This helps them stay interested in what they are writing about

  • Play word games and do puzzles together to help your child learn more about words and spelling

  • Have interesting paper and pens available or help them make a special book to write in

  • Write to your child, or give them jokes, cartoons or short articles you think they’ll like to read from the newspaper

  • Play with words. Thinking of interesting words and discussing new ones can help increase the words your child uses when they write – look words up in the dictionary or on the Internet, or talk to family and whānau members to learn more about the background and the whakapapa (origins) of the words.

TIP - be a great role model. Show your child that you write for all sorts of reasons. Let them see you enjoy writing. You can use your first language – this helps your child’s learning, too.

Talk about your child's writing

  • Talk about ideas and information they are going to write about. Talk about experiences, diagrams, graphs, pictures, photos, and material that your child is planning to use for school work. Discussing the information and main ideas can help their planning for writing and their understanding, too

  • Share the enjoyment of their writing. Read and talk about the writing that your child does. Give praise for things they have done well to support their learning.

  • Play with words. Thinking of interesting words and discussing new ones can help increase the words your child uses when they write

  • Share your own writing with your child – lists, planning for family events, or an email. You can help them to see that you too use writing for different purposes.

TIP - keep writing fun and use any excuse you can think of to encourage your child to write about anything, anytime.

Write for a reason

  • Encourage your child to write emails, invitations, thank you letters, poems, stories, or postcards to friends, family, and whānau – make it fun.

  • Ask your child who they would like to write to. It is helpful if what they write is given or sent to others

  • Ask them to write a story to read to a younger sibling

  • A diary or journal – on paper or on a computer – can help your child to write about their experiences and their own feelings about things that have happened at school, at home, in the world, on the marae, at sports events, and on TV.

TIP - talk about what your child writes. Be interested. If you don’t understand something they are writing about, ask them to explain.