If you want to get your child writing, make sure he or she understands the connection between letters, sounds, and words. He or she will need at least a basic knowledge of letters and sounds to get started. He or she will also need to be taught the "tricks" in order to progress.
The easiest way I know of to get your child started is to call out words for your child to write. If that's too "school like" or "boring," you can have him or her draw a picture and label it, write an email or letter, or begin some other little note or written project. Just make sure you help when the "tricks" emerge! If he or she is too small to actually write, you could have him or her simply play with magnetic or foam letters to begin forming words.
Regardless of the activity you pick, help your child understand that words are made up of sounds. All he or she has to do to write (or form words) is to listen to the sounds "hiding" within them. To help him or her understand this, you'll need to help him or her break up words and identify the individual sounds. How? Each time your child wants to write (or put together) a word, sound it out for him or her, asking him or her what sound he or she hears first, second, etc. Don't worry about perfect spelling for long or difficult words in the beginning; just work on helping your child "hear" the sounds in the word. Start with simple cvc words if you can. Then move on to blends and tricks. Once he or she gets the idea of how to break up a word and write down the letters that make the sounds he or she hears, he or she will be well on his or her way to becoming a writer. It's really no more complicated than that.
When you run across sounds that he or she can't identify, help him or her. If it's a trick you haven't taught yet, teach it! Writing words is all about hearing the sounds and identifying them.
Once your child is an "expert" at sounding out words, it's time to get down to story writing! Any writing that actually involves sentences and paragraphs will do! Don't make too many corrections at first. Your main objective is just to develop a love for writing and a desire to do so. If you make too many corrections, you are likely to shut this love and desire down before it ever starts! Go easy on corrections, and praise, praise, praise!
When you think your child is ready to learn about capitals and periods (as soon as he or she is writing words comfortably), tell him or her that you are going to teach him or her a "big kid" secret! Then show him or her how to start with a capital and end with a period. Walk your child through several sentences, remembering to praise, praise, praise all capitals and periods! You can work on creating a story as you do so. Soon you'll find your child can write stories all on his or her own.
- Make sure your child knows letters and sounds
- Teach your child how to segment words and write down the sounds he or she hears
- Teach any unknown tricks, especially when they pop up
- Praise all writing attempts
- Be careful not to over-correct
- Make fun writing utensils available (colored pencils, markers, different kinds of crayons, mechanical pencils and other fun pencils, etc.)
- Have fun writing paper available (colored paper, lined paper, white paper, spiral notebooks, notepads, etc.)
- Encourage your child to write daily (thank you notes, shopping lists, letters, emails, plays, books, stories, songs, etc.)
- Show your child how to hold a pencil and form letters properly (from the top)
- Make each writing "lesson" fun! (Shower your child and his or her work with praise!)