Writing essays is a common exercise that your kid will have to face in school. These exercises are vital to your child’s education. Yet, academic institutions do not always do the best job to ensure they won’t face any challenges. During such times, they’ll look to you for help and guidance.
“My kid can’t write an essay without crying.”
“No matter how much I scold her, my daughter won’t write her essay.”
“I don’t want my son to get low grades. How should I help him improve his essay?”
These are just some of the common questions that parents often ask academic counsellors. However, there’s no need to panic. Instead of leaving your kid on their own to work on the essay, there are several ways you can help them.
1. Break down the work into small sections
Often, your kid will get overwhelmed by the prospect of writing an essay, especially if they have no prior experience. In such times, losing your cool will not help. Instead, you can help them understand that there’s nothing to fear.
It is best to break down the entire task into small sections like the introduction, body, and essay conclusion and go through them together with your kid one by one. This way, you can help them understand how they should proceed with their work in the future to avoid being overwhelmed.
2. Go over the basic writing skills
In 2017, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, three-quarters of both 8th and 12th grades lacked proficiency for writing. This shocking piece of information should be enough to make you understand that your kid should fix their writing skills as soon as possible.
Take some time to sit with your kid and make them understand the importance of basic grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You have to be patient with their mistakes so that you can help them build their foundation. This way, you can ensure they won’t have trouble with any essays in the future.
3. Help them understand the concept
If your kid does not understand the topic of the essay, it can lead them to write something that will be entirely off-topic. This step requires identifying the vital keywords and understanding what questions the topic wants you to ask. Additionally, you can also help them by going over the reasoning methods they can use to comprehend the subject better.
4. Teach them the importance of outlining
Many students do not outline their essays and end up straying from the topic mid-way through their writing. As a result, their grades decline significantly. The best way to solve this is by highlighting the importance of outlining from the initial stages.
It is challenging for students to keep track of all the information they need to include in their essays. Outlining helps them create a framework not to forget any crucial points necessary to the assignment.
5. Provide an appropriate surrounding
Another way you can help your kid write good essays is by providing an ideal environment free of distractions. Your child must have a proper table and chair along with good lighting and noise-free surroundings to help them concentrate more on their writing.
Additionally, it would be best to make sure there are no gadgets nearby that can create a distraction. If your kid has to find information online, help them with the research yourself.
6. Encourage your kid to read more
There is nothing better than reading to improve your writing skills. When you read more, you gain an idea of how to express your thoughts better. Moreover, it is the best way for your kid to soak up new vocabulary and improve the way they structure their sentences.
7. Help your kid with more writing practice
It is best to encourage your kid to develop a daily writing habit to help them improve their writing skills. It can be as simple as keeping a daily journal to write about anything they feel like.
Just like how a kid has to practice playing the guitar every day to learn the chords, similarly, this daily writing habit can slowly improve the fundamental writing problems in grammar and sentence structure.
8. Provide a wide variety of topics to write
Kids usually lose interest if their professors keep giving them the same stock topics to write essays. Therefore, you must provide them with exciting topics to write about to stoke their interest.
Try to find topics that will interest your kid. For example, they’ll be more enthusiastic about writing an essay on their favourite music artist than about The Importance of Studying.
9. Help them by revising the mistakes in their essay
If your kid makes mistakes in their essay very often, take some time to sit with them and go over these errors one at a time. See if you can notice a pattern in these. For example, are they making more frequent errors in grammar or sentence structures?
Once you have identified the area of concern, give your kid tips on how to improve in those specific sections. This way, you can ensure that they will be more careful from the following times.
10. Be encouraging
If you reprimand your kid about scoring low grades in their essays, it might have the opposite effect. There is a high chance that they’ll lose their motivation to improve. Instead, you should be understanding of their situation and try to identify where they’re falling behind. A few ways you can provide your kid positive encouragement are:
- Praise them when they do something right
- Make them understand that you’re always there to lend them an ear
- Focus more on the effort they put in than on the results
Summing it up,
As a parent, your child will look up to you for help when they face any problem with their assignments. At times, it can be challenging to find the best way to help your kid improve their essays. But as long as you follow these ten tips, you can work together with them to improve slowly. With time, you will see a vast improvement in their writing quality.