Every child is different and you need to find your groove with each one, but I thought I would share with you how I have been
teaching encouraging writing with my kids.
My oldest was, of course, the first to learn to write. We started when she was around four and a half years old, mostly just teaching the alphabet, naming and showing her the letters.
When she would draw she would add little letters here and there, or just scribble lines that were supposed to be words.
At that time, we were doing a distance-education program so I felt pressure to “get” my daughter to learn and do things. I spent a lot of time convincing and coercing her to practice writing. Of course, she didn’t like it, but she would do it with a reward (dang carrots and sticks).
She progressed slowly but surely. At first all of her letters were uppercase, eventually she moved on to practicing lower case. We used workbooks where you traced lined letters, and she would practice on her drawings. She loved making signs, like, “NO moms OR dads ALWD” 😀
She in turn, taught her little sister to write her name when she was just 4.
My oldest daughter didn’t learn to fully read on her own until she was 8, but she loved listening to stories and she could recognize basic sight words (our reading journey is another story).
My oldest daughter is now 11, she can write neatly and use both upper and lower case. She isn’t very fast at writing, and she doesn’t use much punctuation. She is using language in her daily life, she sends emails and writes lists or plans she has.
Both the girls are always asking us how to spell things and we either get them to guess first, or just tell them how to spell the word. Overtime they have learned to spell a variety of words. ( I do wish I had spent more time teaching some of the “writing rules”, but they seem to pick it up on their own.)
I try to get them to write everyday. But I don’t like forcing them. I want them to enjoy it, not dread it, but I also explain to them, that they need to learn to write properly so that they can navigate the world when they are older. It is important to be able to convey ideas, writing is a tool to accomplish this.
Some of the tools we find work to get them excited about writing
- sending emails to their cousins
- writing lists or plans
- we use “Storymatics” cards for making up funny stories. They copy the cards to write their own stories.
- spelling tests are popular right now – for some reason my kids like them (we never give them a mark or grade, we just correct the ones they got wrong and they go back and write them properly)
- making up their own board game
- making birthday cards
- Adding text to drawings
- if they are really into something, like Minecraft for example, get them to write about it.
Well I hope my experience helps you get some ideas on ways to “teach” your kids writing.
Please leave any questions or comments you might have, I love to hear them, and will be sure to respond!