I felt compelled to write this post mainly because I had someone ask me when my youngest child was 5, if he was writing his name yet. Now, this person who asked is a teacher’s aide in the school system and was shocked an appalled when I said that he knew his letters but not particularly how to write his name.
Now, parents, I don’t want you to go crazy and make your 5 year-olds sit for hours on end, to learn to write their names. On the contrary, it is best to wait when they are ready. What do I mean by this? A child will show his or her readiness to you by writing or scribbling on papers with pencils or pens. My children have always enjoyed coloring and painting, but I never pushed upon them ‘staying within the lines’ concept.
When I first began home schooling, I thought I needed to purchase every writing workbook on the market but quickly learned that it was not necessary. Writing pads are available in any discount store and many Dollar Stores. But my emphasis is on them enjoying to write and not pressuring them to write.
My entire goal has been to make learning enjoyable. Seeing my child struggle with writing and forcing the issue is not what I call enjoyable. I remember my oldest, who was 6 at that time, sitting at the kitchen table with tears streaming down her cheeks because her teacher at the time had told her to write her name 50 times because it was not neat. That is when I knew that I wanted to home school. Parents, it is so important to stress education but not to the point of stressing the child and yourself.
When a child is ready and capable of writing, the signs will be there and very noticeable. I have taught each of my children how to hold a pen or pencil and how to apply pressure on them in order to write without pain or discomfort. I let them draw and write and because I allow them and not force them, they find it more enjoyable and want to learn to write. Not to mention that the peer pressure alone may be a motivator as well.
- Have pens and pencils readily available
- Purchase writing tablets and have available
- Give your child their own notebook or journal
- Always see your child writing, they like to mimic parents
- Colored pencils and crayons available
Make learning fun and they will want to continue learning.