Improving Writing Skills

Question: My son, a seventh-grader, is a good student but a poor writer. When he gets a bad grade on an essay, he always says that he knew what he wanted to say but couldn't say it. Is there any way that I can help him improve his writing? - Poor Writer

Answer: Hopefully the school is currently providing your son with continuing instruction on ways to organize his thoughts and write paragraphs with strong topic sentences. This should help.

Fortunately, there are three simple ways in which you might be able to help your son improve his writing. First, you must encourage him to write every day. The more he writes, the better he will become. He is far more likely to embrace daily writing if it is fun. Encourage him to write e-mails to friends and family members. It would also be helpful for him to make daily entries in a journal.

Second, help your son to become more aware of what he has written either by having him read it out loud to someone or by having someone read it back to him. This will show him that writing is really a form of saying something to someone. It will also allow him to hear his errors.

Finally, there are computer programs designed to help children improve their writing skills. Ask your son's teacher to provide you with some suggestions.