Writing evolved as a practical skill!

The first written language was developed by the Sumerians about fifty-four hundred years ago, and it was a way to keep track of agricultural trading. Simplifying the whole story quite a bit, we can say that one smart Sumerian guy got tired of being fooled by his neighbor and decided to write down how many bags of crops had been actually sold. We may assume that scribbling with a stick on a clay tablet wasn’t easy for a hand that had never done it before, but that hand was a very motivated one.

The issue with many of our kids is that writing is more of a burden for them than a practical skill. More often than not, they have to talk about the subject they don’t really want to talk about. There is no real need to communicate behind their written speech. If words don’t flow out easily, this might become a barrier that stops a child from improving.

What can we do as parents? We can set an example. You may ask your child start writing a letter to “a grown up me”, while you might write a letter to yourself when you were you child’s age. What would you say? What would your child say? Find pictures when you were little, ask your child to draw him/herself as an adult. Or maybe there is an app that can be used for a latter purpose. It might be a lot of fun or a complete failure:)

You never know till you try!

We can find the subject that really matters for the child. There must be something that your child knows better than you do. Let him or her educate you. Music, fashion, turtles, chemistry… the list is endless. And even video games! “This is the best video game? Why?” “Because it’s cool!” “What makes it cool?” Let it be in a spoken form at first and using the subject that the child is familiar with. It is crucial for the child to practice verbalizing his or her thoughts. The explaining mode is a great medium because it demonstrates a very important concept: the distance that always exists between the speaker/writer and the one who is listening/reading. Maybe you can turn this into a family game when every member of the family tries to explain something that others might not be familiar with?

If the child is truly involved into the conversation or a game, he or she will feel the urge to find a better word or a phrase. Sometimes kids become aggravated as they feel that they can’t find proper means to communicate their message right, so we can always help by suggesting something.

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