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Help your child conquer the fear of a blank page

Helping a child conquer the fear of a blank page is one of the major goals that any educator should have in mind. The goal is never reached overnight, but it is doable. First, the pre-writing stage's importance should never be underestimated. A child feels more at ease when he or she has a clear understanding of what the major episodes that are going to be included in the future written passage are. Step-by-step guidance is the key. For instance, the concept that any story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end usually turns out to be too general for a child’s mind to be truly efficient. If you write a story with your child, use a question-answer format to create a script or a “backbone” of the future story. Then, connecting these elements together and adding more details looks like a more manageable and easier task in your child’s eyes than writing the whole story.


A young writer would definitely benefit from having a paragraph or two prewritten for him or her, especially when writing a short fictitious story. These two paragraphs turn out to be true game-changers. They help the child immerse themselves in the story's fabric, better understand what they want to say next and feel less anxious about the whole writing process. To avoid your child being a passive reader, you may skip a detail or two, asking the child to fill these gaps independently. Depending on how confident the child is, another prewritten paragraph in the middle of the story might be needed. This time a young writer might be asked to add a couple of sentences instead of a few words as he did before.


By supporting your child and breaking the writing process into measurable chunks, you nourish your child’s confidence and willingness to participate in the writing process. An example of a story that you can use with your child (a 4th grader) is attached to this passage.


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