An ancient Latin proverb exists: Scribendo disces scribere-You learn to write by writing. In other words, writing takes a lot of practice like reading. There are rare opportunities in many elementary classrooms to write more than a few sentences at a time, so it is important that you create an environment that encourages writing at home. There must be several elements. First of all, make sure that the house has plenty of pencils, pens, and paper. Give your child access to the word processing program if you have a computer (or purchase a program for young people). Give your child his own table or desk to write, away from TVs, radios, stereos and other distractions, if possible. Encourage and praise his efforts. A place where you display his writings proudly-at the fridge door or a newsletter is a must. Above all, make sure that your child spends time writing daily. Obviously, homework represents one opportunity. In the first few years of school, however, the chances are good that homework tasks will not be enough, especially if they consist mainly of worksheets that only take minutes to complete. Early writers need more ongoing efforts. With a little effort, you will have...

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