5 Ways to Encourage a Reluctant Writer

Is your child a reluctant writer?

The writing process involves planning, drafting, revising, editing, and finally a completed version. Students must consider grammar, spelling, vocabulary, sentence structure, and an overall flow while coming up with ideas on a topic they often are not attached to. Combine all of this with a red pencil and the stress alone will induce writer’s block.

teaching writing

5 Ways to Encourage a Reluctant Writer

1. Encourage Thoughts First. 

If your child insists that crossing the Serengeti would be easier than drafting a sentence you may need to change your approach. Instead of asking for sentences, ask your child to write down thoughts. In essence, you want your child to free write. Freewriting means writing without the fear of being judged or corrected. Let your child know that all you want is for her to write down thoughts and not to worry about grammar or spelling. Once your child has some thoughts on paper then simply ask, “How can we create a sentence out of this thought?” or “What would you need to do to turn this thought into a sentence?” Allow your child to answer and self-correct. Gently continue to correct and adjust until your child sees how her thought is now a real sentence.

2. Create a Writing Atmosphere

Provide your child with a writer’s station to get her in the right frame of mind to write. A quiet corner with a bean bag and a notebook or a clean desk with an inspiring view can give a child the space she needs to transcribe her thoughts. Younger children may enjoy a tote filled with colored pencils, paper, stickers, and picture books to generate ideas. The goal is to create an atmosphere of low stress which alleviates the fear of the blank page.

3. Choose a Child’s Interest to Write About

A simple way to generate ideas is for a student to write about a topic of interest. Whatever topic your child enjoys or has a vast knowledge on is the perfect training ground for writing. Your child can write on frogs, football, or fashion, just as long as it inspires a story or fun facts your child wants to share.

4. Connect Writing to Something Meaningful or Practical 

Perhaps your child would find it easier to write down thoughts for a thank you card, birthday card, or letter to a soldier or the president. You can start off with something as easy as the grocery list or Christmas list. Once your child creates a list you can add ideas to it such as a menu plan or list why a gift is requested. On items that are outside of the regular school, it is best to not grade or correct. Your child needs to feel comfortable jotting down ideas and seeing her ideas as words on paper.

5. Writing Prompts

If your student has difficulty coming up with ideas to write about then provide the ideas. You can start out by asking your child to write a sentence or two about the book she is reading or how she would decorate her room. Every day just a little prompt to warm up and get her mind on track with the getting thoughts on paper. You can download for free, Funny Picture Animal Writing Prompts to encourage tears of laughter and not frustration. Do you have your Brainy Days yet? Download it and use it for writing prompts!

A Fun Way to Encourage Writing

Nothing inspires writing like pretty paper just for kids! You can download all three sets now for FREE!


Graphic Designer, Branding Consultant at RM Design Services & Branding Stylist
RIchele is a homeschooling mom of 4 children ranging in age from 8 to 19 years old. She has a collegiate background in educational psychology which did little to prepare her for grading math papers while making dinner. After admitting to a font addiction and many hex colored dreams, she created RM Design Services & Branding Stylist, where she creates printables, media kits, and more to help women create their best online presence through design.

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