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Writing Is Hard Series -- The Reluctant Writer, Strong Talker

I often hear from parents who are struggling to understand why their children think writing is hard. In this series of articles, we'll explore some of the reasons why young writers struggle with writing for school assignments.

The reluctant writer, strong talker does not like writing, but they enjoy talking about what they think and know from independent and structured learning activities. They find sharing ideas in a written form difficult. And, unfortunately, sharing ideas in written form is an important element of school assignments.

For the reluctant writer, strong talker, even the shortest writing assignment can feel overwhelming. Writing even a sentence can be a long, drawn-out process. The writing assignment is completed, but it often is brief and does not reflect the depth of their understanding.

Reluctant writer, strong talkers benefit from talking out their ideas before writing them down. Their communication strength -- talking -- can be leveraged to help them showcase their ideas.

Parents can help the reluctant writer, strong talker by asking them to talk through an assignment before they begin writing. Sometimes saying what they will write before writing it down is enough. The idea has been formulated and their response is clear. Transferring those ideas to the page is a little easier.

Sometimes talking it through before writing it down is not realistic. The assignment might be a paragraph or essay or the ideas could be complex. In instances when the writing assignment cannot be recalled easily after talking it through, record your child's explanation. Play the recording as the child works on the writing assignment.

Finally, encourage your child to read their draft out loud or read the writing assignment to your child to review their assignment. Hearing their words can help them identify unclear ideas. It may also help with grammar issues like run-on sentences and tense issues as they may hear grammar issues more easily than see them on the written page.

A verbal communicator may never feel truly comfortable with academic writing. The goal is to help them transfer their strengths as a speaker to the written form.

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