Do you want to teach a child creative writing?
It is a good idea to teach a child creative writing. It is a rewarding experience when you help children develop communication skills, creativity, and a love for storytelling.
Early this month, Brittle Paper published one of my non-fiction articles. It is titled “8 Ways To Tutor Your Children in Creative Writing”.
The post was popular among writers and readers on social media, so I figured it would benefit some of my readers on Creative Writing News.
Some adults said they learned from the 8-step guide as well. So I guess, the post is for every budding writer, young and old.
Another thing I’d have liked to mention in the article is the essence of journaling. Buy a diary for you and your writer child. It’ll force you to shut out the inner critic so that you will practice a lot more writing and even enjoy the process.
If you’d like to read an excerpt, here’s a sneak peek into the article.
You don’t need an education degree (or an MFA) to help creative children channel their newly acquired reading experience and budding writing skills into crafting a compelling tale. When I began homeschooling two preteens in creative writing, I was still earning my post graduate diploma in education. What you need, instead, is a lot of patience, grit, love and this five-step guide.
1. Make Reading A Habit
When I attended the Farafina Workshop, I observed that Chimamanda Adichie and all the other established writers and publishers harped on about the importance of reading. I think it was Chika Unigwe who said, ‘read, read, and read’..
2. Write, Write, Write
Make sure the child has time to write every day. Create a writing space where the child can write during an agreed upon ‘creative time’.
Make a list of words that aren’t allowed in a story. I chose common, weak words for instance. The children were forbidden from using words like man, woman, boy, girl, go, went, cool, fun, said (except in a dialogue tag), nice, good, bad, fine, pretty etc. This forced the children to be more creative.
For instance, instead of writing, “The man went to the hall.” The child could write, “The retired architect drove his old Mercedes to the Enugu conference hall.”
Here are other tips to foster creative writing skills in children:
Exposure to a variety of literature can inspire creativity. Encourage your child to read a diverse range of books, including different genres and styles.
Provide a Supportive Environment
Create a comfortable and quiet space where your child can write without distractions. This can help them focus on their thoughts and ideas.
Start with Prompts
Use prompts to spark creativity. You can provide pictures, words, or phrases to stimulate their imagination. Ask questions like “What if?” to encourage them to explore different scenarios.
Encourage your child to let their imagination run wild. Remind them that in creative writing, there are no wrong answers, and they have the freedom to express themselves.
Make it Fun
Incorporate games and activities into the writing process. This can make writing enjoyable and less intimidating. For example, create a “story jar” filled with different story elements that your child can draw from to create a unique narrative.
Celebrate and praise your child’s efforts. Positive reinforcement can boost their confidence and motivation to continue writing.
Provide Writing Tools
Offer a variety of writing tools, such as colored pens, markers, and notebooks. Experimenting with different mediums can make the writing process more engaging.
Explore Different Genres
Introduce your child to various writing genres, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and short stories. This exposure can help them discover their preferences and broaden their writing skills.
Set Realistic Goals
Break down the writing process into manageable steps. Setting realistic goals can help your child stay focused and feel a sense of accomplishment as they complete each stage.
Share and Discuss
Encourage your child to share their writing with you or others. Discussing their work can provide valuable feedback and help them refine their ideas.
Be a Writing Role Model
Demonstrate the importance of writing by engaging in writing activities yourself. Whether it’s journaling, writing stories, or creating poems, your enthusiasm can inspire your child.
Enroll the Children in Writing Groups
If possible, encourage your child to join a writing group or club where they can share their work with peers and receive constructive feedback.
Each child is different and unique. It’s essential to adapt strategies that fits each individual child’s preferences and learning style. Patience and encouragement play key roles in nurturing a child’s creative writing abilities.
You can read the rest of the article HERE. Please note that this self-help guide focuses on creative fiction and non-fiction.