Helping Kids Learn to Write

Helping Kids Learn to Write

Helping Kids Learn to Write

Writing is a valuable skill. Though formal letter writing on paper has died out, correspondence via email and other mediums is just as strong as ever. Helping kids learn to write well, or at least convey a thought or idea effectively, is necessary no matter what your profession.

For kids, learning to write well can be incredibly useful in their academic career. Especially since they will surely have to write papers and complete their homework effectively. However, writing can also lead to a hobby as well as increase their reading skills.

As we all know reading and writing are intrinsically linked. Being able to read well and understand concepts can help kids become better and more effective writers, and vice versa. With young kids, it helps to start small and simple, just like you would with reading. Here are some practical tips parents and guardians can try to get their kids into writing and make them better writers.

The Right Instruments

Just like how introducing babies to cardboard or fabric books can get kids acquainted with books as objects, picking out big, fun writing instruments can have the same effect.  You’ll first want to get kids acquainted with writing out or tracing letters. Safe options for younger children can include big pieces of chalk to draw with on the sidewalk or board. You can even get a little messy with paintbrushes or finger paints. Making this fun can be a great introduction to writing.

Start Small

Once your child has gotten the grasp of writing, they can move onto other writing tools. Golf pencils (smaller and easier to grip for small hands) or crayons are a great beginning. These tools are generally easier for kids to work with while they get used to the act of writing.

Personalized Activity Books

Getting the Hang of Things

As kids learn how to write out full sentences, they may need practice keeping their letters uniform and their spaces between words consistent. There are special kinds of paper that have traceable letters and other helpful tools such as personalized activity books for kids to get used to. To help with spaces between letters, they can use stamps, their fingers, or even colored crayons they aren’t using to act as placeholders while they write.

Becoming Better Writers

As kids get older, their homework may include instructions for providing long-form answers whether they be a single sentence to a paragraph. When kids are at this age or writing level, it helps to boost their communication skills. Encourage them to keep a journal or to write their own stories. This can help them develop effective communication skills via writing, and they can get used to expressing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas through written words.

How to Use Positive Reinforcement for Kids

Positive Reinforcement with Kids

Positive Reinforcement for Kids

As kids get older, they become more independent and begin making their own choices. As parents and guardians, it is important to encourage kids to make good and healthy decisions in their everyday lives.

Promoting these behaviors will help them develop into well-adjusted adults. Reinforcing these positive behaviors can also help kids feel good about the choices they make. These choices will further motivate them to continue  being good, responsible people. Here are some ways parents can use positive reinforcement for kids every day.

Verbal Affirmation

This sort of simple encouragement can go a long way. For example, “your room looks great when its tidy” or “I like how you’ve organized your toys.” This type of praise can give kids the validation they need to continue doing these things, find joy in them, and continue to listen when you ask them to complete such tasks.

Self-Esteem

Encouraging your child to improve and keep up with good behavior can be a big confidence and self-esteem booster as well as a motivator. Especially if they are being kind or helping out.  This will help them find value in these things and they may start doing things on their own.

Positive Reinforcement for Kids

Character Development

Parents are their children’s first and most powerful moral teachers. Therefore, it’s important that you demonstrate morals you want your kids to pick up from you. Try to make your life a living example of good moral behavior for your child to see.

Reinforce good moral behavior as it happens and make sure to always prioritize moral habits daily. This can be done by getting kids involved in helping others and the world around them. Instilling good values can go a long way and stay with your child as they get older.

When Does It Work Best?

But with all of this in mind, how can you know when positive reinforcement is most effective?

Utah State University published a behavioral guidelines checklist outlining when positive reinforcement works the best. According to this study, body language and positive verbal affirmation are the most effective, following a behavior you want to encourage. Saying things like “I’m proud of you,” “great job,” or being specific like “that was very polite of you,” or “that was really nice of you to (do what you did),“ can be incredibly effective.

Not all encouragement has to be verbal, either. Smiling, nodding in approval, and even doling out high-fives and thumbs-up can go a long way.

Take Away:  Using simple but proven strategies can make real differences in your children’s lives. Especially when you choose ones that matter most in raising good kids then commit to making them become a habit in your daily parenting.

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Babies Can Learn To Read Too

Babies Can Read Too

It may seem pointless to read to a newborn – they can’t read yet, they don’t understand language, and processing images is still something they are getting used to. But these are actually great reasons that should inspire you to read to your newborn. There are some surprising benefits to breaking out the books early, and they can really go a long way.

Baby Bonding
Reading with your baby is a nice way to relax. Reading aloud can have a calming effect on newborns, especially since they can get used to your voice and find comfort in it. It’s never too early for bed time stories, especially when the sound of your voice in a calm, even cadence can get them to relax and get ready for bed.

Active Listening
Listening plays a huge part in learning language, so even if children cannot yet process or understand words, reading to them will play a huge role in their developing language skills. Plus, reading to kids can help boost their early vocabulary, too. You may feel tempted in every other hour of the day to babble on in baby-speak to your child but talking them in a normal voice with normal speech (though using simple words can be helpful) is actually more beneficial to children and their developing minds. Reading from a book to them on a regular basis can have the same effect.

Ready Readers
Making reading a common activity helps shape active readers, and kids who are read to are more likely to develop their own love for reading as they get older. Not only that, but listening can help kids become better readers, too. Once they do become familiar with language, they can learn to follow along as you read to them. Before you know it, they’ll be reading on their own! But it all starts early, so reading to children while they are still infants can make a difference.

Brain Boost
Studies have also shown that children who were read to as newborns not only have a larger vocabulary, but that they also exhibit more advanced mathematical skills than other kids their age as well. These same studies have also uncovered a direct correlation between how many words a baby hears each day and their overall language skills. One study even found that babies whose parents spoke to them a lot when they were younger scored higher on standard tests when they reached age 3 than children whose parents weren’t as verbal with them.

React and Response
Studies have also shown that babies whose parents read to them get used to the rhythmic pattern of their parents’ voices. This can be calming, but it can also help them better identify subtle clues in speech such as the mood of the speaker by their tone of voice.  Babies are exposed to feelings through the different sounds parents use when reading, whether it’s doing a voice for a character or describing what’s going on in the story.