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- author Jackie French

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Speechie's Couch: F is for Functional Fun

Nothing beats having a bit of power, especially when you are a child. Being able to influence what others do is big, so it’s worth a bit of extra effort—even if that effort is writing.

While many children find reading an effort, even more shudder at the thought of putting pen (or pencil or texta) to paper, so why not make the effort worthwhile?

Are you going to a party? Get your excited party-goer to add the details to your family calendar. Make sure this includes the address and time of the special event and be sure to make a point of reading you child’s entry before you head off. Let them know you value their written skills.

Has your household run out of a particular food? Your young one can add this item to your shopping list. Tiny successes lead to confidence and the wish to write more often, especially if there are concrete rewards (like cheese or fruit or even a favourite sandwich filling).

A pivotal moment like this where your struggling writer moves out of his or her comfort zone should never be a time when perfect letter formation is required. Any faint resemblance to target words should be accepted without fuss or comment at first. However, as the written requests become more frequent and confidence builds, you’ll find that a time will come to bargain for greater writing accuracy.

Jo Burnell is one of KBR's editors and resident paediatric speech pathologist. As reviewer of children’s and YA books, editor of all types of text and freelance writer, Jo is passionate about children's literature in all its forms.