Children struggle with writing for all sorts of reasons. For some, it is because of a clinically diagnosable condition while for others, it is just a question of getting used to it.
As a parent, it is often challenging to know how to help. In this post, we take a look at some of the reasons why your child might be struggling with their writing skills and what you can do to assist them.
Anxiety Or Confidence Issues
When it comes to writing, difficulties are rarely intellectual. Mostly, they are emotional. Many kids struggle to write because of a lack of confidence or misconceptions of what teachers expect of them.
Traditionally, the education system teaches writing in various stages. But if kids get a knock early on or they miss out on a key developmental goal then that can stay with them for the rest of their lives.
If you can, make kids aware that writing happens in stages. Tell them that taking an English GCSE is usually only something that they can do once they understand the basic concepts. Sometimes, it is best to simply allow children to draft work without constantly correctly spelling and grammar issues. The goal is to get them writing fluently – not nitpicking on all of the small mistakes that they make. You can resolve these later.
Problems Organising Ideas
For other children, the issue may be difficulties with organizing ideas. Many writing tasks demand that kids put their ideas in a logical order and then run through them sequentially. However, if they are not used to doing this, they may struggle with structure from the outset.
If your child is writing an essay, get them to structure it around an introduction, themes, and then a conclusion. At first, it may seem a bit formulaic, but it will get them used to thinking through problems in a certain way.
If they are still having trouble, you can practice mapping out ideas before they start writing.
Trouble Getting Started
Most professionals have had writer’s block at some point in their careers. This occurs when they simply can’t think of how to start writing on a blank page.
Children can experience this problem too. They know that they have to complete a creative writing task, but they have no idea what the first sentence should be.
In this situation, many teachers and parents will get children to work through their block by brainstorming. But this approach usually only makes matters worse. Often, the most effective solution is to simply start the child off with an idea and then let them complete it. So, for example, you could write the first sentence and then allow them to finish the story (or essay) in whatever manner they like.
For some children, the biggest problem is self-expression. This problem usually has nothing to do with a lack of knowledge but trouble with spelling and grammar. In these cases, the most effective solution is usually to go back to basics and find out where the child is struggling.
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