Summer Tips for Helping Your Struggling/Reluctant Writer (Part 2)

July 14, 2013




“But I don’t know what to write about.” How many of you have heard that from your child when given a writing assignment from school? Finding a topic of interest that sparks the motivation to launch into writing is a challenge for most of us, and is key for reluctant and struggling writers. 


A very worthwhile strategy that will serve your child well now and for many years to come is to encourage the use of a writing journal for recording all sorts of random things that may potentially be used in the future.  The journal can be a notebook, card file, folder, digital document, or other format…it’s your child’s preference. 


My oldest son Gil, a professional comedy writer, has always had lots of creative ideas, curiosities, and humorous observations.  Since childhood he has had the great habit of jotting those things down   (e.g., on a notecard in his pocket, or now on his smartphone’s notepad), which is later transferred to a notebook or file.  Those files are like a literary treasure chest because you can always dig through these random ideas and every once in a while find a real gem.  This writing journal or file is a perfect place to look for topics to write about when needed…a memory jogger of your thoughts, experiences, and interests over the years.


You can truly facilitate this by paying attention to your child’s creative ideas, interesting questions and observations, anything they find fascinating.   Suggest that they record it in their journal.  If your child is too young or resistant to writing it down…you can do it for them.   The summer is a perfect time for starting such a journal, encouraging its use, and beginning to develop a very beneficial habit.




Some of these “seed” ideas may be developed and grown into full potential writing topics at some time in the future.   They can include anything, such as:


The journal can also be in the form of a collage with pictures, words, phrases related to any of the above – cut out from photos, magazines, newspapers, anything printed from the computer, then mounted on pages of the notebook or folder.


Support Your Child’s Effort




See my other writing-related blogs and articles:  Summer Tips for Helping Your Struggling/Reluctant Writer (Part 1),    The Wonderful “Post-It Strategy” from Writing Fix, Why Writing is Often a Struggle for Students with ADHD and/or Learning DisabilitiesHow to Help My Child with Writing – Home Supports.   See my Writing Strategies & Activities Pinterest board for lots of great writing ideas.  My books also have many writing strategies and tips for parents of kids with writing challenges.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply