Julie McIntyre Mar 30 2022

Tuesday Tip: Let Them Write

Distance Learning can be fun, and it can also be challenging. For some, it may be especially challenging to help your child with their writing assignments during this time.

You might be thinking about how you learned to write years ago, and may not remember how you first learned to write as a three-, four- or five-year old. Or perhaps you remember, and you recall learning how to write differently than your child in Concordia today.

This week’s Tuesday Tip will provide some insight and share research educators have learned from over the years on how to encourage young authors to write without reluctance and letting your young child write freely. I hope this article encourages you to simply let them write!


A vast body of educational research lies in the study of teaching children to write. If you do an online search of this topic, you will see for yourself the volume of research available regarding how children best learn to write. Without reading through volumes of lengthy research, I would like to present a brief list of strategies you can use at home to support your young learner and continue to watch them blossom as a writer.

#1 - Let them write.

Avoid stopping their progress by making them correct errors. Three-, four-, and five-year-olds need to be encouraged to write freely. Let them use “inventive” spelling (letters which creatively represent a word, ex: flwr = flower). If you stop them and insist they spell every word correctly, their motivation to write will diminish because they will begin to think they are not good at writing words and they might stop taking risks with putting their ideas onto paper. Thus, the reluctant or defiant writer mentality will begin. Learning the correct conventions of writing will come in time. As for a child writing who is now in the Early Childhood grades, simply let them write. Read more about this in HamerayPublishing’s research here.

#2 - Writing starts with ideas.

A writer begins to learn to write by listening to and telling stories. Parents love to read books to children. Try simply sitting down with your child and make up a story you “tell” them. Show them that creative ideas can simply come from the imagination. Once you get some practice with this, allow your child to begin telling you stories that they make up. If a child can express a creative story with words, soon those words will become written into wonderfully imaginative stories. Dartmouth presents a clear picture of how important the stage of developing ideas is for writing. The research they present here is applicable to children of all ages. Make it fun! And remember, for our youngest children, writing ideas can also be in the form of pictures. Let them draw their ideas, and tell you about them with their verbal words.

#3 - Writing blossoms when tied to personal experiences.

Most people enjoy talking about their holidays, family stories, unexpected adventures, exciting people they’ve met and more! As much as adults enjoy recounting personal stories, children love it even more! This is why teachers often help their students write class books after a field trip. Although we are currently limited with our movement, you and your family go out on your deck and listen to the birds, watch the trees move, and think up an imaginative adventure with you. Afterwards, you can help your child write about that experience. Or you can talk about a holiday you enjoyed, and that can become their written piece. Our memories and stories are always with us, so now is a good time to recount those memories and write about them. NAEYC is an organization which Concordia Early Childhood Division relies on for their research. Here is an article NAEYC published which shares more about helping a young child blossom as a writer when they are allowed to write about personal experiences (and more).

#4 - Publish and display their written work.

Nothing says “Job well done” better than posting a child's work in the house for everyone to see! Show your pride in their written work. As your child produces more pieces, take down the past pieces and begin placing them into a folder. This can become your child’s writing portfolio. I enjoyed reading this article published by ChildCareExchange.com which is an easy read about how you can impact your child’s pride in writing and shares fun ways to engage and display your child’s accomplishments in writing.

I could continue on and on about the topic of “Let Them Write!” There are expansive amounts of articles written about young children learning to write. I’ve attempted to highlight a few important considerations for you to reflect upon during these distance learning days. I hope you will find some of them helpful as we continue as educational partners today and onwards.

The Early Childhood Division at Concordia International School Shanghai looks forward to continuing our support and service to you and your family and hope you find the Tuesday Tips resourceful.