How Journaling Can Improve Writing Skills in Kids With Learning Differences
Children can Improve Writing Skills and Enhance Creative Writing Abilities by Keeping a Journal
For many children, writing can be a tedious task. It involves following directions closely, using order and structure, revising, editing and then creating a final product. For kids with learning differences, writing can be a frustrating task. However, through the use of journaling and creative writing activities, your children can find their "voice" through their pen.
Learning Differences and Creative Writing
As journaling is a more advanced writing exercise, start with a simple yet fun activity that can help your children improve their creative writing skills. Ask them to describe what they are experiencing, such as everyday activities or objects. After they eat an ice cream cone, for example, they should write down some sensory details about the experience. Was the cone crunchy or soft? Was the ice cream hard or smooth? Was the taste salty or sweet? As writing skills and learning disorders are often connected, this activity can also help children with processing disorders use more specific language to articulate their feelings.
Improve Writing Skills With Journaling
Another technique that helps children improve their writing skills is journaling. The journal can be self-directed — for example, when your children write about whatever is on their mind that day — or can be adult-directed with a prompt, such as, "What was the worst food you've ever tried and why did you hate it?" One of the most reassuring facets of journaling is that there are no wrong answers, which can often be a stressor for children with learning differences.
An additional benefit to journaling is that it provides children with an example of meaningful writing. Children often don't see the link between their life and the assignments they write in school, so the work has less value for them. However, when children are writing about their own feelings or thoughts, they see writing as meaningful work.
Journaling can also be a way for children to springboard into larger writing assignments, where they can begin to work on structure, order and sequencing. This type of writing, called expressive or narrative writing, relies on the child's interests and ideas to organically branch out into more complex writing tasks.
Children can improve their writing skills though journaling and creative writing prompts and find joy, instead of dread, when picking up their pen.