Encourage The Writer In Your Child

05 Feb
I believe creative writing is one of the most important skills a child can learn. Writing stretches a child’s imagination wide open and offers them a wonderfully positive outlet for self expression. There’s this magical moment when you manage to capture a feeling or an idea perfectly and pin it down to the page. I just love it when a child ( who has done just that) proudly shares a snippet of their writing. They glow with a certain sense of achievement. It’s written all over their face. It’s not just an individual process either, it’s a social skill involving observation, storytelling, collaboration and communication.

So what are the benefits of encouraging children to explore, develop and extend their storytelling and writing skills?

When they write creatively, children:

  •        learn to engage and entertain an audience.
  •        foster their creative expression.
  •        stimulate their imagination.
  •        clarify their thinking and develop logical thought processes.
  •        search for self identity – when creating characters, children will naturally explore their own feelings, fears, hopes and values.
  •        extend their reading and writing skills.
  •        learn empathy – they walk in the shoes of their characters   but they also learn to actively listen and appreciate the ideas and feelings of their peers.
  •        develop their creative thinking skills.
  •        have an opportunity to express their emotions, ideas, dreams, wonderings and so much more.

Creative writing is not only fun, it’s an important life skill.

Kimberley O’Brien, Child Psychologist, says in her article, ‘Childhood Creativity in Decline: Putting the Spotlight on the Issue of Supporting Creativity in Children’,

“Research shows that children who actively participate in creative writing activities benefit in multiple ways when it comes to their personal development and education. Children are likely to be well rounded and develop better life skills like conflict resolution, stress management, understanding and empathy when using creative writing as a means of self-expression.”

The article (which is actually sponsored by Pilot Pens) discusses creativity, creative writing and the art of good old fashioned handwriting. It’s worth a read. I use a computer all day long, but when I want to think or play with words, I always return to my trusty pen and paper. Our next generation of writers may not feel this way at all.

If you live in Melbourne and know a child who is passionate about writing, then point them in the direction of  ‘The Writer’s Club’. We run at two venues: Parkdale and Oakleigh. Our program for this term is titled ‘The Writer’s Notebook’. Visit our website for more information www.writeawaywithme.com

This year, it will also be possible for schools to host an after hours writing program for their school. Programs can vary in length from 4 to 8 weeks and can cater for any grade level. Please email me if you would like to discuss the possibility of hosting ‘The Writer’s Club’ at your school in 2013.

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