WRITING SKILLS - Home Practice
Please help your child develop his/her writing skills. Encourage every effort that your child makes with writing! Writing can be a great motivation for children to learn letters and sounds so they can write down their ideas. Children are practicing their phonics skills when they write. When drawing, encourage your child to label the picture and sound out the words the best that he/she can. Help your child become self-reliant. If he/she asks how to spell a word, help your child stretch out the word so he/she can hear the sounds. Guide your child through the spelling process, but do not get in the habit of always spelling words for your child. If your child's sound knowledge is low, then give your child plenty of assistance to get him/her off to a good start, but encourage your child to become more independent as soon as possible. Make each writing experience a positive one!
Developing Good Writing Behaviors
* Provide a variety of materials for your child to use when writing (i.e. paper, pencils, crayons, markers, note pads, cards, post-it notes, clip board) and a handy place to neatly store those important materials (i.e. storage box, drawer, shelf).
* Provide a special writing area for your child to use (i.e. a desk, a place at the kitchen table, a spot on the coffee table).
* Provide a special place to display your child's writing (i.e. refrigerator door, small bulletin board).
* Accept what your child writes. Children go through various stages when learning to write (scribbling, drawing pictures, random letters, inventive spelling). Answer your child's questions about writing and be encouraging.
* Write notes to your child and put them in special places (i.e. on a mirror, in a pocket, on a pillow). Also be a good model. Let your child see your writing. After all, he/she wants to grow up to be just like you!
* Provide real reasons for writing (i.e. thank you notes, grocery lists, reminder notes, short letters to family members or
friends, stories, signs).
Some fun ways to practice writing -
* Use finger paints - Your child can smear finger paints on a piece of paper and write his/her name and/or various letters with his/her fingers. Encourage him/her to spell words and provide some guidance when necessary. Your child can "wipe the slate clean" to write more words and letters.
* Use a salt box - Line a small box with black paper and add a thin layer of salt. Your child can write letters in the salt. Gently shake the box to "clean the slate" and start over.
* Tracing/Drawing Activities - Draw shapes, curly lines, zig zags, and mazes, and ask your child to trace them with a pencil. Then see if he/she can duplicate the drawing by himself/herself.