Updated: Oct 26, 2021
Congrats to you!!
Family, it's amazing that you have opened this blog and starting to read it! This is the first step to helping your student and offering support in Writing. It's good to spend time with students and give the one-on-one attention, but it can also be a challenge! In this blog, I am going to share some of the most common tips on how to support students with Writing!
How to encourage students who don't know what to write about:
A major first step in the Writing process is for students to come up with ideas. In Writing, this is typically called "Brainstorming." A student cannot begin the writing process, without knowing what they will write about.
You can support them by letting them get creative with how they present possible ideas on what to write about. Let them draw ideas on paper, or they can write it out. If they choose to write it, they don't have to make it grammatically correct, just basically informal and throwing ideas out there.
After they come up with ideas, say: Which idea do you remember the most? Which idea will you have the MOST FUN writing about? (Have them circle that idea.)
How to react to your student's spelling mistakes:
As adults, for the most part, it's easy to see our student's spelling mistakes. It's only natural, that you want to help your students fix their spelling mistakes. However, when students are still trying to get in the "groove" of writing and spelling, we don't need to make them spend hours trying to fix every single spelling mistake. Why? Well, this can lead to them feeling "discouraged" as I mentioned in the video above. And when students begin to feel discouraged, this can lead to them loosing their motivation for Writing.
So, now you may be thinking..."What am I suppose to do?" I recommend, from experience, not dwelling much on Spelling until they have Writing concepts down. Writing concepts include coming up with ideas, creating a draft, and editing it into their final draft!
Better spelling typically comes from better Reading, sounding out words, and opportunities to write for fun in a natural way. Let them choose a FUN book that they actually WANT to read. Have them circle words that they don't know how to spell, create flashcards with the words, and maybe a fun picture to go with it to represent each word. This can be turned into a game that they practice spelling with their favorite book and some fun words! How cool is that?
How to help encourage a love for Writing at home:
Freewriting is a great way for students to get their ideas out on paper! Freewriting can look different for everyone, it just depends on the student.
Here's some ideas (let them choose or come up with their own):
allowing them to have a "Secret Diary" where they write about their day.
Let them choose a "Topic of the Week" about something that interest them or that's going on in the world and have them write about it (Maybe, let them watch Fox4News or CNN, if you want, some weeks)
Let them write about their feelings and thoughts
Let them make up a really funny story to write about
As a family, you all choose something different to write about during the week. On the weekends, maybe you can have a "Family Writing Party" where you come together with snacks and drinks, and everyone shares their stories and offers encouragement
How to ask supportive, open-ended questions about Writing:
First, let me start by sharing what an open ended question is. An open ended question is a question that does not have a "yes or no" answer. We want to avoid these type of questions in general with academics, but especially Writing. In order for students to answer questions appropriately, they also have to understand the content as well, so that's a factor to consider too!
Close-Ended Question: "Did you have fun at school today?" (Students will most likely say yes or no, this leaves no room for conversation and creativity.)
Open-Ended Question: "Tell me about your day today at school." (This leads room for a variety of responses, creativity, and conversation.)
So how does this apply to writing? Check out some examples below!
Scenario 1 example:
Lets say a student is writing a paper and you are reading it with them and you notice they forgot to capitalize harriet tubman's name.
Instead of saying: "You need to fix that sentence, you forgot to capitalize something."
You could say something like: "Circle this amazing sentence. Tell me something you notice about it. What is good about this sentence? What are some things you could fix in this sentence?" (And then, of course guide them from there through questions, and they should naturally recognize it, if they understand the concept!)
Scenario 2 example:
Lets say a student is editing their Writing and you notice they used a question mark in a sentence that really needs an exclamation mark.
Here's the sentence: "Oh my gosh, Harmoni's birthday starts in 2 hours?"
Instead of saying: "You put the wrong punctuation mark in that sentence."
You could say something like: "Circle this amazing sentence! What do you like about this sentence? What are some things you notice that could be fixed? How do you think Harmoni feels about her birthday starting in 2 hours? How would you feel?" (From there, it gets them talking and they should naturally notice that they ended it with the wrong punctuation mark, if they understand the concept!)
LCB Tutoring takes a lot of work off of you in this process!
Here at LCB Tutoring, I take a lot of work off of you with Writing, as I send updates according to the plan you signed up for, with ways to support at home based on the individual student. This is a blog for everyone (even students not in LCB Tutoring), and I hope it was helpful as you begin to think how to support your students at home with Writing!
I want to close the blog today with 2 questions:
What is ONE tip mentioned above that you will work on applying in the upcoming weeks? Why?
Happy Writing! :) Feel free to share this on Social Media, or with any friends or family that may have trouble supporting students with Writing!