How Do You Get Your Kids to Enjoy Writing? Thursday Topics

July 2, 2009

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Being asked to write seems to get some of the biggest groans from my 9-year-old son. (Yes, even more than math!)  He always says that he HATES to write.  I think some of his difficulties are that he doesn’t spell perfectly and has to go back and correct a lot.  He also doesn’t like how slow it is to write and the actual process of putting letters on paper with a pencil seems like too much work for him.

So, I need some help.  I was wondering if you could give me some suggestions on ways you’ve helped your children get excited about writing.  I’m also trying to find something to stimulate his interest instead of assigning work he hates and grumbles about.

Here are some of my ideas (but, I could really use some more!):

  • Find a pen pal and start writing letters:  A cousin or a friend who has moved away are easy to start exchanging letters with.
  • Write and illustrate a comic book.  Since they are heavy on illustration and light on text, the actual writing is less overwhelming and the project is more fun.  A simple comic book can be made by stacking blank paper together, bending it in the middle, and stapling along the fold.
  • Pick a topic and start a blog.  It doesn’t take much computer savy to start a free blog at a site like and distant family members will love the updates.
  • Start a journal.
  • Use a story starter – sometimes a question or fantasy idea can help kids start thinking.  “What if . . .” questions are a great place to start.  Here is a fun list of story starters.

What ideas do you have? 

I was thinking my son might need something to make the actual process of writing a bit easier so he doesn’t get so impatient with how slowly he writes. 

Thank you for your help!

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Posted under Thursday Topics, Writing Curriculum


9 Comments so far

  1. melissa September 11, 2015 12:47 am

    Explain the importance of writing in early years of education. In grade school writing is a MUST!!!!Take away privileges no television, video games or the like if work is not written. Offer rewards or treats…..this does help.

  2. docmisty March 17, 2012 9:05 pm


    Sorry to hear that. Hopefully you can find something that helps him. If you can figure out what bothered him about the trip, maybe you can address it.

    With writing, the best encouragement seems to be finding something he is excited to write about – a letter to a penpal, notes on facebook, rules to a game he made up, lists for games he likes to play, etc.

    Good luck,


  3. Simin March 17, 2012 5:44 pm

    My son is 12 years old. He never liked writing but he always managed to do his homework himself. He went to a field trip for 4 days and since then his anxiety has increased dramatically and even affected his writing. He doesn’t want to do any writing any more. I’ve been taking him for therapy and being on medication, hasn’t been helpful much yet.

  4. Schedule October 29, 2010 8:21 pm

    Maybe you could make changes to the post name title How Do You Get Your Kids to Enjoy Writing? | Homeschool Bytes to something more specific for your webpage you create. I liked the post still.

  5. fivekitten December 7, 2009 3:55 pm

    My 9 year old hates writing (but loves math). She wouldn’t survive in a classroom for a day if she had a traditional writing workload. Three sentences are a lot to her. However, she loves to create stories – and once she gets an idea for a book or story I just let her go and she writes and writes. (I have to spell the majority of words for her). I don’t worry about punctuation because I’m just happy she’s writing! (We do study punctuation of course, but when she’s enjoying writing, no sense destroying the motivation!)

  6. sarah July 12, 2009 12:43 am

    Jonah would love to write back and forth to Alex…if you need a pen pal….and Mattie would love to write to Brooke! The kids sometimes write to friends we have in Japan, and also to our old exchange student from Finland. Let me know if you want our address!

  7. Jane July 9, 2009 8:34 am

    There are several rubrics that are helpful….fill them out and you’ve essentially got the meat of a paper. However, they don’t necessarily give the child a real opportunity to develop a personal writing voice. Once in a while, especially with quick turnaround deadlines, in what can appear to be “cheating,” I type while my son dictates his paper. It gives him a chance to explain it in his way in a conversational tone as quickly as I can type (a lot faster than he can write). I capture it exactly as he says it, leaving it to him to edit after he’s got his ideas out. As he dictates, I ask questions as needed: “What do you mean by that?” “Can you tell me more about that?” “I don’t get it; why is that important?” He knows I’m modeling the thinking process. What would have been tortuous explanations he would have avoided expanding upon if he’d had to write/type, ends up getting explained and he begins to see how writing is a conversation with someone else and that he needs to anticipate the questions the reader would be asking.

  8. Meaghan July 4, 2009 4:41 pm

    These are some good ideas. Perhaps you can combine journaling with scrapbooking. You can have your child use old photos or take new ones, put them in a scrapbook, and write in elaborate captions that explain the event. He or she can even make a fictitious scrapbook where they make up events and stories to go with photos.

  9. Nan July 2, 2009 4:15 pm

    Our personal family favorite is to “write on the wall.”

    I used large rolls of white paper and hung sheets of it on the walls (of the stairs at our house) and had the kids start writing. We left markers on the window ledge nearby to promote additions and editing. My daughter wrote the coolest poem this way – over the course of 3 weeks. She calls it “The Sun” but because of the time invested in it, it could also read “The Son” as in Jesus Christ; this was intentional on her part. She was just 11 at the time. It’s fabulous, if I do say so myself!

    I don’t know why this is so fun to them, but the kids always like it and walking by it so often makes it hard to forget to do!



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