Do you know that little kids given the right guidance and motivation would love to learn how to write? What can parents and educators do to capture this intrinsic motivation? These tried and true reading and writing programs will turn your pencil-and-paper kid into a writer and reader.
Most parents read stories to their kids. But how many parents write them? It’s not hard. Invite your child to write with you. Grab some paper and something to write with. And then make up a little story, writing it down, page by page as you go. Keep the stories simple. Make a drawing to illustrate each page or have your child do the illustration. Try to make stories that look like the ones you read with your child in easy books. Another way to engage your child is in shared story creation where both of you contribute simultaneously. As you create the story together you serve as a model of how exactly to go about it. This type of reading and writing programs will enhance the writing skills of your child and would make him learn new words as well in the process. Who knows you might have a budding Tolkien or Rowling?
Making a list and checking it twice
Our lives are full of lists: “to do” lists, shopping lists, lists of people, list of favorite things, etc. Many of these lists are things we write down. List writing is pretty easy. So it’s often one of the first forms of writing kids can be involved in. When you make a grocery list, have your child help you do it. First do all the writing, and then the next time, have them do it. Don’t be surprised when one day they present you with their own list of items they’d like you pick up at the grocery.
Say Thank You
Who doesn’t love receiving gifts? But the tradition of “Thank You” notes seems to have fallen by the wayside. Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, an uncle or an aunt, a child’s thank you note—dictated or written in their own hand—is a treasure.
Map It Out
Draw—Label—Caption writing is a simple form that can be used by preschoolers. You may draw a picture and have your child label or caption the picture that you took. This form of reading and writing program can also be done after a family; you can have your child do their own captions on pictures that you’ve taken during the trip.
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
Repetition is not a single activity, but a reminder that you should write and read with your child every day. Your child is often motivated to mimic and repeat what you do even without any prompting. Repetition is its own built-in motivator. When you do fun and engaging side-by-side writing and reading activities over time your beginner reorganizes and incorporates new material such as higher-order print concepts and piles on new knowledge about sounds, letters, and literacy. Reading aloud is important.