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Developing Creative Writing Skills Together

Many parents feel that they can't adequately help their children revise or improve on their work because they aren't teachers or tutors. However, being closer to a peer than an educator has its benefits. Children learn best by example, which is why children are often put into groups or in twos so they can bounce ideas off each other, learn from each other and give advice. In this instance, they can improve their work by seeing what others are better at and they can exercise their own knowledge and boost their confidence by recognising where peers could improve.

When it comes to creative writing you do not have to be Stephen King or Suzanne Collins to give advice - in fact, it would be your detriment! Children are easily discouraged and when presented with a masterfully written piece as an example to follow, most children look at it and think 'I'm terrible, I will never write something nearly as good as this'. So if you believe you aren't a good writer or that you don't understand everything your child is being taught, this is your time to


Like a peer group in a classroom, when your child is attempting to answer a prompt for a short story, write along with them. Once you have both finished take turns reading your pieces and compare, but be careful not to overly explain how you wrote your piece. Instead, be patient and try to coax them into using the skills they have already been taught to analyse the differences between your work and theirs, equally looking at the better and worse parts of each piece.

This is extremely similar to the relaxed approach used in creative writing classes and workshops. Students will write from a prompt individually to open up a class discussion and give each other constructive criticisms about their pieces. In this setting, everyone is an equal and nobody is made to feel inadequate or less capable. Criticism becomes sought after and not a knock on your intelligence, as it is used to help people and is shared by everyone. Recreating this at home would be a fantastic way of improving your child's skills, their confidence and removing the negativity from feedback. If adults can make mistakes too, then it isn't a big deal!

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