By Sandra Miller
Your kids may not be thrilled when they are first faced with an essay writing task, but writing skills are very important for their future educational and emotional development. Although it can be difficult for you to teach them how to write an essay and start loving that activity, your effort won’t be left without results. The most important thing to keep in mind is that children have difficulties in expressing themselves in a structured from that requires crafting strong sentences.
If essay writing is mission impossible for your children and you really want to teach them how to write, you should work on your own skills first. You need an organized and methodical approach that will make it easy for them to understand what you are trying to say.
Start with the basics
The first thing you need to make sure of is that your children have a basic understanding of spelling and grammar concepts, which are appropriate for their grade, age, and essay writing requirements. If your children’s education lacks these building blocks, you will only confuse them with the attempt of teaching them more complicated writing skills. The result will be nothing more than frustration to both you and your children.
After you make sure that their knowledge is ready to be advanced to the essay writing stage, you should start by introducing the concept of a thesis. The first difficulty children face is directing their essays and keeping them focused. If your children struggle with writing concepts, you can provide thesis prompts or thesis statements for them. Once your children advance their writing skills, they will easily think of their own thesis statements. The thesis should be the main point around which the essay is written. Make sure to explain to them that every page, every paragraph, and every sentence within the essay, no matter how short or long it is, should be associated to the thesis statement.
Advanced stages: Creating an outline
The next step of the process is explaining your kids how to create an outline of the writing. The outline will help them maintain the logical progression from the beginning to the end of the paper. Once your kids understand sentence construction, they may have difficulties in keeping the logical context within the paper because they will be focused solely on creating sentence units that are grammatically correct, expressive, and cohesive. You should teach them how to relate those sentences to one another and stick to the outline.
Explain the meaning and purpose of the introductory and concluding paragraphs, and tell them how to structure the paragraphs in between in a logical order.
Key to success: examples and practice
If you provide examples of good essays to your children, they will immediately get ideas on creating their own papers. They won’t understand what you are trying to say if your approach to teaching is based solely on explanations. You need to be as hands-on as your kids need during the development of their first essays. Once they develop an increased confidence in their abilities, they will be able to work on their own. It is easy to find essay examples online and use them to show your kids what works and what doesn’t work in essay writing.
Practice is the key to perfection. There isn’t a more effective way of teaching children how to write essays than helping them practice as many times as possible. You should make the process interesting, so they won’t see it as a torture. Once you provide them with the conceptual foundation of knowledge, you should help them implement that knowledge through practice.
Remember: striving for perfection is out of the question when you’re teaching your kids something. Don’t put too much pressure on them and don’t require impossible achievements. Essay writing is a very useful skill that will increase their vocabulary and improve their skills of grammar, so you should approach the teaching process with those humble goals on your mind.
Sandra Miller is a freelance writer at editing service Help.Plagtracker. She is extremely passionate about latest trends in education technology. Sandra keeps developing her writing style and exploring different types of fiction. Currently she’s taking her first steps toward writing a YA novel.