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7 Reasons to explore creative writing with your student

Caroline Duda has years of experience as an SAT tutor for Varsity Tutors. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For many young children, the impulse to create and share stories is natural. Whether your student prefers books of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, or does not yet know what she likes best, exposing her to the art of creative writing can be a very wise choice.

Any season is the perfect season to explore creative writing, and it is a pastime that you and your child can enjoy together. Here are seven reasons to introduce your student (of any age) to creative writing.

1. Creative writing is creative

After all, "creative" does appear in the title of the genre. Creativity, though sometimes less evident in the conventional classroom, contributes to skills like critical thinking and problem solving, which are imperative to your child's successful academic growth. Teach your student to consider information from all angles: analytical, creative, logical and so on, as each is of equal importance.

2. Creative writing is detail-oriented

Writing involves the five senses: see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. Crafting vivid sentences involves paying close attention to the world around us, which may or may not be unfamiliar to your child. Teach your student to recognize new details in a person, a place or a thing, and then to describe them as clearly as possible.

3. Creative writing is a vocabulary exercise

Routinely engaging in creative writing exercises stretches children's vocabularies, as words form the building blocks of original compositions. Teach your student to note which terms she uses when, and encourage her to experiment with new words. Provide her with a dictionary and/or a thesaurus to assist her in this endeavor.

4. Creative writing is purpose-driven

Effective authors write with a purpose. This is a difficult concept for students of all ages to grasp, but creative writing provides children and parents with an opportunity to discuss why they write. Teach your student to question her intentions before she begins, as well as while she writes, and emphasize that "for fun" is an acceptable response.

5. Creative writing is a meaningful source of confidence

Conceiving, drafting and polishing a piece, however brief your child's piece may be, is a tremendous accomplishment, and it carries with it an enormous sense of (deserved) self-confidence. Teach your student to take pride in her work, whether in creative writing or in a different area.

6. Creative writing is a healthy coping mechanism

Even young children experience negative emotions, such as stress and worry. Crafting a play, a poem or a short story is a form of stress relief, as well as a positive outlet for anger, fear, frustration, etc. Teach your student to identify and utilize such healthy coping mechanisms.

7. Creative writing is enjoyable

By high school, many students dread composition assignments, as well as the sheer act of writing itself. Teach your student to embrace such opportunities for expression while she is young, and she may develop an appreciation for the subject later in life. Frame writing as a pleasurable experience, rather than as an activity worthy of distaste.

Happy writing.

For more tips and strategies to help your student succeed in school, visit www.varsitytutors.com.

Photo credit: Hero Images/Hero Images/Getty Images
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