Many parents have found themselves home schooling unexpectedly during this pandemic. With schools closed for weeks or months at a time you may have found yourself trying to help your child to write their first essay while at home. Here are some suggestions if you are still facing this task.
Home schooling tips – Help your child with essay writing
Essay writing is a huge step in a child’s academic development because it is their first attempt to express their ideas in writing. But this experience can bring on a lot of headaches.
Think about your first days writing essays. You probably sulked all day and fiddled with your pencil with little success. Every child goes through this phase, even if they are homeschoolers or attend school with their peers.
Also, some parents prefer handing over their kids’ homework to any reliable essay writers. Although this solution works for the kids, they will benefit more from writing their essays themselves.
So, it is essential to pay close attention to your child’s development in essay writing. They need your guidance and positive reinforcement to hone their writing skills.
Start with the fundamentals
Every area of human endeavour can only lead to success if you cover the basics, and writing is not an exception. Don’t dive in expecting your child to write an excellent essay right off the bat.
However, much time you dedicate to home schooling you need to accept the fact that their first attempt will be terrible. It is just like riding a bike: no one ever gets it right on the first try.
So, focus on basic spelling and grammar. Ask them to make simple sentences and see if they can write them down correctly, and correct their mistakes in a mild tone.
This creative process helps kids develop a better understanding of brainstorming and research.
Come down to their level
Some kids dread school because of stern teachers and headmasters. This fear inhibits their willingness to express themselves and, as a result, hinders their development.
So, when you teach your child essay writing basics, don’t complicate things. Use simple expressions that they can understand.
Instead of telling your child to ‘develop a thesis’, ask them what the essay’s central idea should be. Also, you can explain abstract concepts using materials around them or the events they’ve witnessed.
For example, moral lessons from The Lion King can help them write an essay on the dangers of disobedience. Use the storyline of characters from animations and children shows to drive home your point.
Encourage them to practice regularly
As the kids pick up the fundamentals of essay writing, encourage them to practice more often. Develop a timetable when home schooling, or even if not, to accommodate essays. The more you keep them engaged, the faster writing skills for kids will be developed
Similarly, reading can help kids improve their writing skills. Introduce them to children’s literature and study these books with them. But don’t just read the books; ask them questions intermittently. This will show you their level of comprehension.
Ultimately, tell them to write down their thoughts about a comprehension passage. Don’t forget to save the work to track their progress.
Develop a reward system
We all know that kids are not enthusiastic about writing. They would rather play Fortnite or Candy Crush on an iPad or gaming console.
But here is the catch; you have ultimate control over the amount of time your kids can spend on these platforms. And since you are the parent, you know their favorite activities and snacks.
So, you could promise them extra playing time on Fortnite if they can finish their comprehension passage. Or you could bribe them with a visit to the candy shop. You will marvel at their ability to focus on the task just for an extra hour of game time.
Add some tech when home schooling
Kids cannot do without tech nowadays. If you want to limit their Fortnite privileges, buy them a learning pad with games. Alternatively, create a separate user on your laptop for your child’s writing.
Also, several learning apps for kids are available free of charge (or at an affordable price). Other interactive games for the development of critical thinking skills are also available. These educational tools are developed with kid-friendly technology. They focus on retaining the child’s att for as long as possible.
Make the process fun
Every child knows that study time is the antithesis to a fun time. This is why you need to include online learning tools for kids when teaching them how to write essays.
Use songs and rhymes to help them recall grammar rules. Remember those nursery rhymes, right? They get stuck in your brain because of the melody, rhyme, and simplicity.
Therefore, essay writing for children can be a fun activity if you don’t apply a lot of pressure on them. Remember that your kids are trying to impress you, which hinders their creativity inadvertently.
Be patient when home schooling
Always bear in mind that some kids take longer to reach their mates’ level. Every individual has a unique path. So, avoid comparing your kids to their peers because they might develop an inferiority complex.
Most importantly, parents with special needs kids should exercise patience with them. Devote time to research and understand the best parenting tips from experts on special needs children.
Hire a tutor
If you cannot dedicate enough time and attention to your child’s academic development, hire a qualified tutor with some house-sitting experience. Provide the tutor with the best tools to improve your child’s writing skills.
However, don’t leave the entire responsibility to the tutor. Some home schooling will be required. You need to take an active part in your child’s development. Dedicate some time to monitor your child’s progress. Ask them questions and tell them to narrate their experience. You could even ask them to write it down.
In essence, teaching essay writing is no easy feat. You will struggle to teach them the basics. But always remember that children have a short attention span. And they would rather do anything but school work. So, set rewards for completing their essays. Teach them with relatable practices and reinforce the necessity of constant practice. Also, use online writing tools to make the process fun. And if you don’t have time to teach your child how to write, hire a tutor for them.
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