1) Provide ample paper and writing material for your child.
2) Reading and writing are a way of life in my home. I’ve scribbled notes and inserted them in my daughter’s dabba or in her pencil box and now I find little notes waiting for me too, when I return from work. In turn she writes notes to her friends and this way we’ve started a writing club!
3) When the kids are squabbling or irritable I play word-story game with them. I give them a word and, after providing paper, tell them to write a story on it. The last time I played this game, the word was ‘light’. I got two beautiful stories from this game. The best story, of course, gets a prize. Trust me, incentivizing chores always glamorizes it.
4) Encourage kids to write post cards or do a home newsletter. Once you get kids to write, try and publish it. If you are on the lookout you will find a handful of children’s magazines (Amar Chitra Khatha, Tinkle, Dimdima) or children’s websites that are happy to post/publish a child’s input. Any published work is tremendous encouragement for a child to write.
5) And there will be ones who will come up with, “I can’t think of anything to write”. Tell them to write a few lines on the room they are in. When they are done with that, go one step further. Ask them to imagine something scary in the room. Tell them to pin it down to the foucs of one thing. The pen will fly.
Trust me, writing is hard. Not too long ago I seriously wondered why schools didn’t do away with pen/pencils and other writing material. After all, in a few years technology is going to go viral and everyone, even school kids will be taking out their iPads and doing their homework. No more those loaded bags and those books inside those bags. That’s when physiotherapist Dr Ekta Bhatia told me, using a pen/pencil and writing carefully, touching the lines etc., all help to hone a part of the brain meant to sharpen precision and our fine motor skills.
With computers and the use of the keyboard, I simply have lost touch with ‘writing’. Every time I find myself scribbling illegibly on paper, I remember Ekta’s words and make an effort to not lose the precision centre of my brain.