Home » Teaching Writing through Example

We’ve all heard that when children see their parents reading, they become better readers. It stands to reason that the more children see us write, the better or more prolific writers they may become. How often do your children see you write? What do they see you write? Is your writing limited to filling out checks, or typing in numbers to your online budgeting software? Do your children see you write letters and lists? Do they see you write longer pieces like poems, stories, informational essays, paragraphs, or songs?

It’s very easy to forget about the need to show writing through example. Often our children come home with homework which requires them to write a book report, or complete a story or poem. It’s necessary that we appreciate their efforts. But it can ring hollow to a child’s ears when they—not thrilled with their writing assignments—wonder to themselves, “Why do I need to do this? After all, Mom and Dad don’t write.” It can seem pointless to write…after all, it’s clear they won’t need it in the “real world.”

It may be difficult at first to begin to show more writing examples. We live in a technological age: the writing we do—often on a keyboard–may simply not be as noticeable. So make it obvious, with a good old-fashioned pen and paper. Start writing notes to your child in their lunchbox. If you need to help your teen remember appointments, write their schedule on a dry-erase board and tuck a note version of the same into their backpack. Start a family suggestion box. Write positive night-time notes to your children and leave them on their pillows; make them creative by writing riddles, poems, and small stories.

Follow the example of parents that read by becoming parents that write…and watch your children follow your example.

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