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Are you looking for ways to encourage your kids's early learning? Did you know that dictation and simple writing activities can help further early reading skills?
Today, I am not talking about handwriting, per se, and learning how to form the letters. Instead, I am looking at helping your kids to express themselves with the written word.
By that I mean, choosing words to write down, or dictate to you, about something that they are interested in. And to see their words put into writing...Kids can start doing this before they even know how to write their letters.
When my 2e daughter was young, we used a variety of ways, to help her put words on the page. We found the best ways to inspire my little writer were the simple ones. The simpler the better.
My daughter just graduated college and still loves to write. This came in handy with all the essays, research reports, and so forth that they ask of college students these days.
But she learned to love writing, starting when she began to color and paint, before she knew her ABC's. How could that be? It all started with her art, when she was a toddler actually.
Putting Words on Art
The News of the Day
We called it "the news of the day. I would ask my daughter to draw something about her day, or a favorite thing that she had seen recently.
Then she would tell me about her picture.
At first, I would write the words that she dictated to me for her. Then I wrote them down on another piece of paper for her to copy, as she learned her letters But she always chose the words herself.
These simple approaches were important first steps in developing early writing skills. Choosing her own words, seeing them in writing and connecting the two is an important first step in early literacy.
As she learned how to form her letters, she began to write them directly on the page. We wrote everyday, usually... but sometimes there was just no news to write about.
Sometimes we really ran out of ideas. We hit, what we adults would call a writer's block, lol.
Resources for Little Writers
I looked around and found a little gem of a book called Collaborative Books for Young Writers by Scholastic.
Topics include Tooth Tales, The Pet Journal, The Suitcase Book, Magical Mail, and 21 more.
How we used this book:
We selected a printable, and gave the pages to my daughter to color, cut, and enjoy. Then she dictated her words to me, or later, wrote her own words to go with the chosen printable.
I helped my 2e daughter when she asked me questions, but did not correct the grammar, or look for neat handwriting at all. This activity was all about expressing herself, and feeling proud of her words. And as a child who thought she needed to know everything before she had a chance to learn it, well, letting grammar go early on was key!
Refining things with spelling, grammar, and legible handwriting would come.....later.
My daughter loved dictating her words to me! Each printable was designed to be made into a two page book, with a simple title page, where your child can write his own name as the author.
Where do you turn when you are looking for writing ideas for your young learners? I love reading your comments. What do your little ones like to write about?
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Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,
Betsy is a former O.T, preschool teacher and published author of children's stories. She is mom to her 2e college grad whom she homeschooled through high school. She blogs at BJ's Homeschool about the early years, high school, college, and is the author of "Homeschooling High School with College in Mind". She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting.
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