As a writer, you may hope that your children develop the same love for writing that you have. One way to encourage a love of writing is to help your children become better writers. The Write Start: A Guide to Nurturing Writing at Every Stage, from Scribbling to Forming Letters and Writing Stories is a good guide to help parents share their love of writing in fun and engaging ways that the kids will enjoy. Even if they do not grow up to be professional writers, the skills they acquire will be useful in their careers and daily lives.
With the help of the many easy-to-implement and fun activities, children of all ages can learn writing skills. Author Jennifer Hallissy is a pediatric occupational therapist and a mom with a love of words and writing. She identifies four stages of writing development: scribblers (pre-writers), spellers (emerging writers), storytellers (beginner writers) and scholars (more experienced writers).
The book begins with ways to instill foundational skills that children need in order to become proficient writers. It then offers 52 activities for you and your children, with variations that make each appropriate for all ages and skill levels. The activities are divided into five categories: Learn, Make, Do, Play and Connect and they include: Mystery Letters, Eat Your Words, Handmade Books, Inventor’s Logbook, Show-Me-the-Money Ledger, Once Upon a Time, (Un)Bored Game, Secret Codes, Message in a Bottle and many more.
The Write Start is available in both paperback and ebook versions. The book includes templates for several of the exercises that may be photocopied (for personal use only) or downloaded from a website address listed in the book.
Overall, the book is a great resource for any parent who wants to help their child become a better, more confident writer. It doesn’t lecture but it guides you, the parent, on how to help your child to enjoy writing. It is particularly useful for kids who struggle with reading and writing, as it helps them to learn the basic skills they need to become writers and makes learning fun.