I have found when I am talking to moms about writing that generally boys have more difficulty writing than girls, although I know there are young women who struggle as well. I had the problem of getting one of my sons to write and together we had to work through the writing process. I believe that partnering and modeling are the keys to successful authorship.
- Write ideas and stories down for them as they are sharing. Writing is communicating ideas on paper and shows your son he has something to write about.
- Read his stories back to him. This is empowering to a student because he can see that what he has to say matters.
- Validate your student as a writer. “You were sharing a story with me that I wanted to write down.” means the world to a new writer since many times they aren’t quite sure where to begin or what to say. (That’s like me and my blog at times.:) )
- Write along with him. Have you ever been given a project that is daunting that you wanted to keep push it off until that last-minute? Did you wish you has someone to help or encourage you? That’s how many new writers feel. When you sit down and write alongside your budding author, he will see that you value writing and the importance of doing it.
- Start slowly. At first you may just need to write for a few minutes. That’s okay because ideas build upon themselves. Your son may just have a list of things at the beginning. Lists are a way of communicating and can be expanded upon in the future if need be. You also can just let that idea go since it may not yield anything further. I have quite a few blog posts that I have begun, but have not been finished. That may be the same way with your son’s writing, and that is okay!
- Share your writing too. As you share and model the writing process your son will see that writing isn’t it a one and done process. Saying things like, “Oh, I don’t like that sentence.” or, “I was looking for a different word to describe that.” lets him see the process of writing.
- Keep at it. Writing is like any other skill. The more you do it, the easier it will become.
Some ideas that I have written about have been from the book that I used with my sons called, The Writer’s Jungle, by Julie Bogart.