To make the best out of your child’s writing skills, there are many ways you can help them strengthen their vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures to push the boundaries of their skills.
To help strengthen your child’s vocabulary you could begin by using more complicated words whilst speaking to them, causing them to ask ‘what does that mean?’ and adding it to their internal vocab list.
There are a lot of resources on websites such as Teachit that you can do with your child. This includes; avoiding the word ‘nice’, zooming in on words, and speaking and listening word games. All of these things pin point the weaknesses of most GCSE students and allow you to work with your child to gain a better vocabulary and therefore exceed their current grades.
Grammar is tricky for most people, and if you help your child now it can be very useful for both their GCSE English but also for their future life.
Common grammatical/spelling mistakes:
- ‘Your’ vs. ’You’re’.
- ‘Their’ vs ‘They’re’ vs ‘There’.
- Misspelling things with double consonants such as ‘success’ and ‘occurred’.
- ‘Affect’ (verb) and ‘Effect’ (noun).
Many students also slip on punctuation. For example, the use of colons goes down very well: try to use a few. There are many exercises to help with the use of punctuation such as colons, semi-colons, and commas.
Varying sentence lengths is important and knowing how to put them together is vital.
For example, conjunctions connect clauses or sentences or bring together wonrds in the same clause. Learning the best ways of linking sentences together can be really helpful for varying the vocabulary and sentence structures of an essay/ essay style question.
Differentiation can be achieved through varied sentence structure. Using dice is a good way to vary the sentence types your child includes in their essay practice.