You need to make writing an important part of your child’s life. They need to be able to perform their work.
Writers need an audience. This is a crucial part of the writing process. Even though writing can be extremely personal at times and sometimes a very private endeavor, it is important to be able to share your work and see it actualized. One great way to do this is to have your child read his or her work out loud to you once they are done writing. By performing in front of the family, or even in front of friends, it gives the writing a sense of importance that other assignments do not have.
If you make the performance special, have a special day planned to listen and maybe prepare some special snacks to accompany the event, the child will in turn feel the pressure to perform and present something worthwhile.
It is also a great form of building up your child’s confidence. You want your child to be able to express him or herself in a competent and confident manner—communication is key for almost every single job market out there and you can never start too young to begin to cultivate these skills. This is why we share our work aloud during workshop at Math Genie as well. It gives our students the opportunity to not only share their work but also hear the immediate verbal feedback of their peers as they critique and praise the work. Both audience and writer have the opportunity to hone in their skills of participation and listening—alongside communicating important information in a meaningful way.
Since it can be difficult to publish you child, letting your child perform their writing becomes an act of publication. He or she has an immediate audience and feedback from people that are important to him or her. This develops a sense of community and purpose in what your child has to say. In performing their writing, they become better readers and presenters while they also hone their writing skills. Sometimes children cannot wait until their next performance and often their finished pieces spur more bouts of writing. When I know I have to share my writing with others it gives me a jolt and sense of joy for completing my work. I want to present my best so far.
The reason it’s important to give their writing actual grounded time especially stems from the drive to make a memorable piece. If children know you have an expectation they will strive to meet it. This means reviewing their work more closely, it means editing, it means rewriting, and it means taking the writing more seriously than they would have if they were only expecting one pair of eyes to read it. If you place this importance on what they produce, then what they produce will be important.