Three Sneaky Ways to Get Your Kids to Write

This post is written in partnership with WriteShop. All thoughts, words, and ideas are my own.

There's often a reluctant writer in every family.  The child who runs away when pencil and paper finds its way in front her.  I have one of those children.  It's not that she can't write or that the task is too challenging for her, but it's simply the fact that she really just doesn't find joy in writing.  She would rather be doing something else. To combat her lack of writing enthusiasm, I've found three ways to make writing feel less like a chore and more like a part of everyday life.
Fun ways to practice writing with kids.  WriteShop homeschool curriculum.

Start a dialogue journal.

Around ages six or seven,  I start dialoguing with my daughters through writing.  We didn't get started with a fancy journal. Actually, our first interactions were on scrap paper.  I would ask a question, and she would respond to the question by writing out her answer.  Both of my daughters enjoyed writing silly conversations back and forth with me.  It didn't seem like writing to them, but it was.  Most of our writing conversations last for a good 15 minutes if we are going back and forth nonstop.  When dialoguing through writing, I don't make it a point to correct spelling or grammar.  This time is purely for the enjoyment of writing however there are times when I will share with my daughters the correct way to spell a word by using the correct spelling in my response. 

Connect with a penpal.

What better way to get your child to write then by having them write to a real person? Currently, my daughters each have two penpals whom they have yet to meet in real life, and they have several friends from our former city whom they stay in contact with through snail mail.  Writing to their new and old friends happens at least twice a month.  Although I do not "grade" their letters, I have taken notice that each new correspondence is getting better and better.  The fact that someone outside of their family will be receiving the letter adds the additional layer of doing their best. 


Dictate the grocery list or other lists.

Daughter writing a list.

Who loves writing a list?  Kids! That's who.  Lists are short and simple to write, and they allow the child to help the family in a big way.  Now, my grocery list is often short; therefore it doesn't overwhelm my reluctant writer.  She can easily jot down the list as I call out the items we need to pick up on our next trip to the grocery store.  Writing a list also doesn't take a whole lot of time which makes it a quick fix for getting writing in each week.  Lately, my daughter will not only help me write out lists for the family, but she now also writes out her own lists for things she wants to do or stuff that she is saving money to purchase.  Writing a list is still writing.  

Bonus:  Type the final draft.

This way isn't technically a sneaky way, but it is a helpful way to get your reluctant writer to complete a full writing assignment.  I've found that allowing my girls to type their final draft is an incentive for completing the first draft, edits, and rewrites.  After the girls have completed a full writing assignment, we head to the library or the work center in our apartment complex so that they can both type out their final draft.  After they type it up, they get to save it to their own USB drives.  I think the saving it part and having their own drives is the actually incentive. :)  Once we return home, they are able to open their work and print it on whichever color paper they choose.  This is a fun way to add some spice to writing. WriteShop has several ideas for writing topics in the Writing Prompt Collection.
Not all children are fond of writing, but as parents we know that writing is an important skill to have and one that should be constantly developed in a variety ways. Not only do I use sneaky ways to teach my daughters writing, but we also use writing curriculum. Recently, we started using WriteShop Junior Book E, and so far the girls are enjoying it.  You can see their reactions to the new program in the video.

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How do you get your children to write?  Do they love it?