A good vocabulary is the foundation for a good writer. Vocabulary and writing go hand in hand. Yet, writing is a skill that needs to be developed and honed within each of our students. As a skill it is something that takes much practice, feedback, and work. Often as parents, working with our children on their writing skills can go from pleasant to frustrating in under 60 seconds. Sadly, many times our students/children find it offensive when we critique their personal words. Yet, even though it is difficult it truly necessary for students to undergo critique. However, there are ways to do it without a blow up! The key is – constructive feedback. Here are a few tips when you offer a critique:
- Start with your positive opinion. Point out several strengths about the piece and explain why you like it and how it worked well.After you’ve discussed the positive, bring out the areas that may need work. Be sure not to use the words “good” or “bad.”
- Make sure that you understand the point of the assignment before you critique it. Make sure that your student/child clearly comprehends the goals and then review the work in light of how it supports those goals.
- Be as encouraging as possible. Find ways to show your child/student how proud you are of them. Take time to display examples of their work. Put great pieces on the fridge, save them with your keepsakes and even take time to discuss them. You can gain alot of insight into how your child thinks by reviewing their writing examples.
Sometimes, our children need a bit more help than we can give them. When this is the case, we turn to outside resources. One of our favorite writing resources is Time4Writing’s eight week online writing courses. These target writing skills that your child may need help with, and instill in them the tools and resources they need to be a success.
We thank Vocabulary Spelling City as a resource for this article.