Keeping a diary boosts children's writing skills and enjoyment
The National Literacy Trust is working with award-winning children's author Jacqueline Wilson on their latest campaign to get more children writing.
Their 2015 report, Children and Young People's Diary Writing found that diary writing has a positive impact on children's attainment, as well as boosting their motivation to write.
The report, based on data collected from over 3,000 eight to 11-year-olds, showed that pupils who keep a diary are almost twice as likely to write above the expected level for their age compared with children who do not (27.1% vs 15.5%).
A big factor in the popularity of diary keeping is how it allows children the freedom to choose what they want to write about, with 82% of girls and 76% of boys explaining how writing is more fun when they can choose the subject.
Diary writing has long been part of literature and society. Historical diaries like Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, give the reader a great insight into the events of the past, whilst fictional diaries like Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid are great entertainment and give children an insight into the world of writing for one's own pleasure and creativity.
"I'm particularly fond of using a fictional diary method when I write my books. It helps make the story more immediate and easy to read. I always advise would-be writers to keep a daily diary as it gets you into a regular writing habit."Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Author
Jacqueline Wilson has blazed the trail of diary writing, including diary entries in her children's fiction series Tracy Beaker. Although particularly popular with girls, her fiction has helped ignite a love of reading and writing in many young people.
She said: "I'm particularly fond of using a fictional diary method when I write my books. It helps make the story more immediate and easy to read. I always advise would-be writers to keep a daily diary as it gets you into a regular writing habit."
By keeping a diary a young person gets into a regular writing habit and will become a more fluent and confident writer. Their communication skills will also improve as they learn how to process their thoughts and feelings and express them clearly and concisely.
Why not consider encouraging some diary writing among the children you're spending time with this Easter holiday and be the person that helped fostered their love of writing? Whether it's Jacqueline Wilson, 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' or the purchase of a bit of new stationery that inspires them, your encouragement to keep up the habit could give them hours of joy, potentially for the rest of their lives.
There are also several diaries on the Kumon Recommended Reading List to help serve as inspiration to get them started on their diary or simply for them to read and enjoy.
For more results from the study, visit the National Literacy Trust's website.