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1. Make Writing Family Time
Write to your child every day. Create a family Journal for daily responses about you day.
2. Celebrate Early Writing
Two-year-old scribbles – it’s writing! Strings of letters – it’s writing! Celebrate it! Hang it up! Read aloud what they said it says!
3. Let your child see you write.
When you’re in a rush to head out the door and are scribbling down a grocery list – and your preschooler hangs over your shoulder and asks what you’re doing – take a second. Show him.
Let them know that you also write daily.
4. Provide a great variety of writing tools and surfaces for writing, and give your child easy access to them.
Give your children pens, chalk, paint, and markers. Get big pads of newsprint, a chalkboard, or a dry erase board. When your child knows her letters, put her at the computer. Make the font big and bright, and let them type.
5. Create a writing space.
Set up a quiet corner for your child to write. If space is an issue, pack writing materials into a portable container that your child can pull out at the kitchen table. Include pens and pencils, pads of paper and envelopes, a notebook, and a spelling dictionary appropriate for your child’s age.
6. Schedule quality writing time into your day.
Don’t put a writing prompt in front of your child and call that teaching writing. While prompts can serve a useful purpose, the focus of your writing time should be short mini-lessons and plenty of time for independent writing.
What’s a mini-lesson?
a) Teach your child how to stretch out a word and write its sounds from its syllables.
b) Teach your child how to brainstorm writing ideas.
c) Teach your child to reread his/her work – Why? Because everyone makes mistakes!
Give your child writing time as often as you can. Remember frequent writing develops the habit of writing.
Enjoy your January writing crate!