One thing I often hear as a teacher is the difficulty of getting reluctant writers to write.

Unfortunately, despite all the advances in technology, writing is still a very important skill to learn, however, for our children, writing isn’t as simple as we may first think. There are so many components to writing, that as an adult, we just don’t see as we have pretty much mastered them all, but for a child, they have quite a lot of things they have to consider…

  1. Pencil Grip
  2. Formulating what they want to write (ideas)
  3. Sentence structure (how do my ideas make a sentence)
  4. Grammar (are these the right words?)
  5. Punctuation (capital letters, full stops, question marks etc…)
  6. Spelling

As you can see it is quite a lot, and not an easy task for someone learning to write, which is why reluctant writers will often do anything in their means to avoid writing g tasks and to get out of writing.

So, how can you support this?

With children who are finding writing difficult, it is about finding a way to make writing purposeful. The writing they do has to be connected to something and children have to see value in the task they are doing.

If you are struggling to get your child to write, here are some quick and purposeful (plus some fun) ways you can have your child write:

  1. Writing the weekly shopping list
  2. Sending postcards to family and friends while on holidays
  3. Writing birthday cards
  4. Write a letter to a family member (think pen-pal; grandparents love this if they live away)
  5. Keep a journal while on holidays (a polaroid camera is a great addition to this so children can print photos and stick in immediately and write about them).

The trick is to make writing purposeful!

Now I am aware that the above examples are mostly for pen-to-paper writing, but if you are just wanting your child to practice spelling or getting ideas down, then doing this digitally on an iPad, for example, is still a great way to encourage writing if needed.


If you can’t say it, you can’t write it. To allow your child to have success in writing they must be able to say what they want to write, so talk to your child about their ideas, what they want to write and the words they will use. Talk it, then write it.


You might also like to read:

School Readiness and what you need to know

Tips to Get Children Excited about Reading