To help parents support and encourage writing at home, suggest that they:

* share alphabet books, alphabet-matching games, and puzzles with their children

* offer clay or play dough, which children can use to form letters

* set up a writing corner in the house, which includes paper, large pencils, stationery, crayons, and stickers

* take pictures of an activity that is especially interesting to their children. They can write a story together about their adventures.

* keep a portfolio of early writing attempts. At different times in the year, they can show their children the writings and comment on their progress.

* bring writing materials in a sandwich bag when they go to the doctor or the dentist. Waiting times can be stressful for young children, and writing is a great activity to make the time more enjoyable.

* celebrate their children's writing by prominently hanging the work in places where it is visible to all. Knowing that writing is important will go a long way in terms of motivating children to write more.