When you sit down to teach your children essay writing you might not initially know where to begin. Essay writing is the cornerstone of any education and half or more of the subjects your kids are likely to tackle in their school lifetime will require essay writing skills.
Writing tips for kids are something that will take them from being a mediocre student to one that shines. Confidence when writing is something that can truly be learned – very few people are born with this important skill. That’s good news, in fact. Like anything worthwhile doing, all great writing takes is practice and dedication.
How to inspire your kids to love writing
It’s true: Your kids may not be thrilled when they are first faced with an essay writing task, but writing skills are very important for their future educational and emotional development. The most important thing to keep in mind is that children might initially have difficulties in expressing themselves. That’s OK!
Teaching your children essay writing might seem like it requires a lot of effort on your behalf – but it needn’t! Here’s a basic, step by step guide to get you on your way to helping out your children with their essay writing skills. This easy list will equip you with all the things you need to do to help your children improve their grades at school and contribute to their future. It’s so important to teach your children essay writing. Here’s how.
Teach Your Children Essay Writing in 5 Steps
Step 1: Start with basics
Lots of kids aren’t great with grammar. Grammar takes time to learn and many parents and guardians simply don’t correct their young children enough, which is doing them a disservice. Some parents might even find these little mistakes cute, funny or charming – but that’s where very young children get into trouble later in life.
Some common grammatical errors made by children are listed by writer Amanda Morin here. Phrases like, ““I goedto the store with Daddy so we could buy traps to catch the mouses,” or, “I’d rather have cookies then cake.”
You need to correct your children and equip them with the basics of spelling and grammar. You don’t have to deliver a massive lecture on writing concepts or run the whole grammar gauntlet in one day. Do this step by step, correct them gently when they make a mistake and select grammar and spelling practices which are appropriate for their grade, age, and essay requirements.
Step 2: Create an outline
When spending time with young children we can see them struggling to find the correct words when speaking; this is even more apparent when they’re tasked with writing. The vast majority of children are not initially confident when expressing their thoughts on paper, so it’s an important step to teach your children essay writing in a sensible way.
To help your children with essay writing, teach them how to create a structure of the message or story they want to tell. When they perfect this, creating an outline for an essay becomes easier. Once your kids understand “logical context”, their mission is half accomplished. Impart the importance of structure: an introduction, body of the essay (including arguments and structured thoughts), and a well-thought out conclusion. Have them practise with something fun, such as an age appropriate story or fairytale.
Step 3: Provide examples and practise a lot
Give your kids examples! Children work better when they have some examples of what they are trying to do lying in front of them. This tactic, called “learning by example”, will help your children get more ideas about creating their own essay papers.
Work on these together and add some creativity to the task. If your kids are young, find fun examples of coordinated text and ask them to point out what structure a piece of writing has – for example, where the beginning, middle and end is. Make sure you don’t overload your kids with tasks either; do the work in small bursts and keep them engaged. Reward them with something fun, such as stickers or colourful pens, or even a new book or two.
Step 4: Don’t push your kids too much
Essay writing is a very hard and complex task; even most adults find it challenging! Don’t put too much pressure on children when they ask for assistance. Check out online services such as Spider Essay Help for advice and take it easy. Striving for perfection is never the best way to get your children immersed in a writing task.
Give them plenty of breaks and lots of encouragement. When they make an error, make sure you are gentle with them so you don’t affect their confidence levels. Setting them up for success in this way will give them more confidence at school. Praise them when they do well and offer positive reinforcement.
Step 5: Read to your children and encourage them to read on their own
It should go without saying but all great writers started as readers. Make reading fun! When kids are little (even from when they are babies) read to them: fairy tales, interesting stories and books designed for kids.
Find out what subjects your kids love; they might surprise you! Do they love dinosaurs, science, bugs, or stories about witches and wizards? Choose age appropriate books that they will find a genuine interest in.
When you are reading to your children, you’ll notice that they’ll definitely catch some words out of the text, and even remember them almost perfectly. This increases their word capacity and vocabulary. Educate your children to love reading on their own. Give them a couple of different books of one or two genres, and ask their opinions.
Easy essay tips for kids
It’s important to remember that writing can be as difficult a subject to teach and assess as it is to learn. You, as a parent, need a lot of patience while teaching your children. Remember to enjoy your time together and build a stronger rapport with your kids. This is where parent involvement can make a big difference to their learning outcomes.
When you teach your children essay writing you are giving them a lifelong skill. Encouraging your children to develop strong writing skills at a young age is a very worthwhile activity and may make all the difference to their future school success. Essay writing skills can have a lifelong positive impact on a child’s writing and may make essay writing an easier and more enjoyable process throughout their lives.
How to Teach Your Children Essay Writing | Easy Essay Tips for Kids
Writing an essay is the cornerstone of any child’s education. Here’s how to teach your children essay writing in 5 simple, easy to follow tips.
Alyce Vayle | Content Strategist
One of the main challenges of parenting is awakening the child’s desire to learn, explore, discover, and express. Sure, we can leave the education part to the teachers and the iPad, but is that the right solution? No! Sometimes, parents have to interfere. It’s their job to be the first teachers their children will ever have.
As your children make progress through different educational levels, they will be expected to write. A lot! College and university, in particular, are heavily linked to academic writing. Your kid will have to write essays, research papers, term papers, and, hopefully, an entire dissertation. The first challenge is an essay.
The teacher assigns an essay with broad guidelines, and your little student is expected to deliver a masterful piece by a precise deadline. You’ll probably face a very frustrated child at this point. Your kid is supposed to write an entire paper, but no one taught them how to do that. Maybe they were writing short stories before, but an essay is a whole other thing. How do you help them write a perfect paper? There are 5 steps to success.
Practice, practice, practice!
A professor of education at Arizona State University reviewed around 250 studies on how to help students develop writing skills. Professor Steve Graham was trying to answer the age-old question: is it best to leave students to learn writing naturally, or do they achieve better results when they get instructions? He found that effective practices do help with the progress. Here’s the first tip he gives: spend more time writing.
The writing practice is not applied in the classroom. Teachers may give brief exercises, but what they prefer doing is using the classroom time for lessons and leaving the practice part as a homework activity. So, you’re in charge of that part of your kid’s education.
If you want your kid to write great essays, you need to motivate them to write a lot. Think of a theme of the day. What did they learn today? Did they learn about the solar system? Set a topic: “If you could visit any planet, which one would you choose? How do you imagine life there?” The following day, set a realistic topic: “Do research on Africa. Write about the way animals live there.”
Make sure these topics are interesting for your kid.
An essay usually consists of 5 paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Teachers usually explain what each paragraph is supposed to contain when assigning the first essay to the class. However, sometimes they forget to provide examples, so the students have no idea how the actual paper would look like.
At the website of any essay writing service, you’ll find great guidelines and samples of various types of papers. Give few of them to your kid to read, and help them envision what a proper essay looks like.
Use Pinterest to organize resources
Pinterest is a really fun tool for creating visual material you find on the web. Parents like using it for collecting parenting tips, home decor ideas, photos of beautiful clothes, and much more. Now, you can start creating special boards for your kid’s essays.
The essay writing process starts with good research. Before your child can write a paper on a topic, they need to learn something about it. They won’t be able to memorize all information they read online. Moreover, they will need to save the resources, so they can reference them in the paper. That’s why Pinterest is a great tool to use during this stage. Whenever you find an interesting source of information, pin it in the relevant board.
Once your kid is inspired enough through the online material you both located, they can proceed to the following stage.
Brainstorm and plan
One of the main requirements for an essay is cohesion. If you assign a topic and let your kid write whatever comes to his or her mind, you’ll end up reading a disconnected essay that the teacher won’t like. That’s why it’s important to start the process with brainstorming and planning.
- MindMeister is one of the most effective online brainstorming tools. If your kid is not that good at using the computer, you can create the map as he or she comes up with ideas. The mind maps created with this tool are highly visual, and they help the user find connections between the arguments.
- When the writer-to-be gets the main ideas through the brainstorming process, it’s time for planning. Essay Map is a great tool that helps fit those ideas in a proper essay structure. It asks the writer to create a few sentences for each section of the paper, and then it offers a map for the essay. After that, it will be really easy to connect the dots and write the actual paper.
Let them use the tablet
Does your kid think that the tablet is much more fun than plain pen-and-paper? That’s okay. We’re dealing with tech generation, after all. You can use your child’s preference for technology to inspire him or her to write. Byword is a great text editor for iPad. It makes the process of writing clean and simple, and it has a neat markdown feature.
To make the essay writing process more fun, you can use Bamboo Paper – an app that simulates the process of writing with a real pen on a real paper.
Beware: the process won’t be easy. Your kid will likely show some resistance to essay writing. What’s the best method to fight resistance? Persistence! Inspire your kid to practice more, but think of more amusing topics every time. When you manage to turn writing into a daily routine, the success will be inevitable.
Karen Dikson is a teacher and a writer from New Jersey. Her works have been published on Huffington Post and other well-known educational resources. She loves to help her students succeed and achieve their goals. Connect with Karen on Twitter
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