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Reading and Writing, the Dynamic Duo

Posted on: Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, peas and carrots – have you ever noticed how some things are better together?

The other day, when I was searching for something, I found my diary from when I was in third grade.  Hmmm – I thought – as I opened it for a trip down memory lane.  I remembered how much I loved keeping a diary for the first time.  I had filled the pages with details of a family visit to my grandmother’s house in Iowa and was fervent in precisely capturing each little bit.

Reading and writing make another perfect pair.  A report from Carnegie Corporation, “Writing to Read, Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading” – Graham and Hebert, 2010, demonstrated what many educators already knew – frequent writers are better readers.  They also are better at comprehension and build stronger foundations for all sorts of learning.

As parents, we know encouraging your child to write or complete writing assignments is not easy.  One way to get started is to inspire them. Hearing stories from different authors will help develop their opinions of what genres they prefer and what authors they really enjoy.

Most kids have heard about Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney.  Read the book or watch the movie with your child.  Then give them a notebook or journal to begin keeping their own diary.  Seeing a diary glorified may be just the inspiration her or she needs.  Check in daily or weekly to see how the writing is going.  Compare it to Greg’s diary and what he writes.  Use it as a regular conversation piece.  Just maybe, reading this book, or seeing the movie version, will inspire your kid to become a writer!

Another way to get a kid to start writing is to find a way for him or her to do it with another kid.  Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown makes me think that writing to a pen pal may also be a lot of fun for your kids.  There are lots of online resources where you and your child can find a pen pal.

Since April is poetry month, read some poetry books (I suggested a few in last week’s blog), and maybe you‘ll find a budding poet in your very own household.

Have you discovered creative ways to encourage your kids to write?  If so, please let us know and we’ll share that information in a future blog.

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