Writing is the cornerstone of academic — and career — success. You most certainly should strive to improve both your writing and your vocabulary while in college. Becoming a strong writer with the ability to clearly express your ideas and arguments will have amazing payoffs in courses that have a writing component — whether a research paper, term project or essay exams. Plus, working to improve your writing also strengthens your critical thinking abilities as well as your listening, reading, and speaking skills — and helps to build your self-confidence. Developing better writing skills will make you feel — and sound — smarter, and lead you to greater professional success.
Remember that the important thing for parents to focus on is the content more than grammar and other details of his/her child’s writing. When a child begins to write, he/she runs the risk of receiving criticism—parents have the job of encouraging their child to continue. Also, parents should keep supplies of paper, pencils, markers, and other writing tools within easy reach. Writing is a skill and habit. Helping your child put thoughts into words gives him/her a great sense of accomplishment. Fostering good writing habits will make a big difference in your child’s attitude about writing. Help your child learn to write well—and enjoy doing it!
Tips for Building Writing Skills at Home:
1. Provide a variety of materials for writing. Fun pens and pretty papers can be a great motivational tool.
2. Create a space in your home for writing that is free from distractions.
3. Choose strong vocabulary words to learn at home for the week. Use these words in your daily oral vocabulary and written work. Words such as “obstacles” and “curious” are a great start. See if your child can use them both in a written story.
4. Integrate core academic area writing at home. Do a science project together and then write about the process or results.
5. Encourage writing for a variety of purposes. Your child could make a shopping list, write a fictional story or send a letter.
6. Allow your child to observe you writing on your own. Be a good role model and smile while you are doing it, too! Take time to share your writing with him or her and talk about how you use writing in your personal and professional life. Show a variety of different written work such as a written letter, business communication or journal page.
7. Celebrate writing in a variety of ways. You could:
– Host a family “open mic” night once a month and take turns reading poems or stories written by family members out loud.
– Tape completed stories to the refrigerator.
- Do a happy dance together with your child when a completed writing project comes home from school with a positive note.
Last, but not least, it is important to provide time to write daily. In order for writing skills to improve, students must spend time writing. Add it to your family’s daily routine and build it into the schedule. This will help your writer to practice and gain confidence in his or her writing.