Writing is essential to learning. Whether it’s writing essays, taking notes or writing down homework assignments, the physical act of writing is essential to success in the classroom. Here are some things you can do at home to help your child gain mastery when putting pencil to paper.
1. Provide Easy Access – Create a special place for your kids to write and draw. Be sure pencils, paper, crayons and markers are available. Change the paper from time to time. Half or quarter sheets, colors, sticky notes or note cards will keep things fresh.
2. Monkey See – Monkey Do – Children are very influenced by what they see the adults around them doing. Set the technology tools aside for a bit and let your kids see you taking notes, writing lists and signing your name…. on paper!
3. Body Writing – Have your child write words in the air. Using large arm movements to write in cursive involves the whole body and allows kids to feel the connection between letters. Body writing also warms up large motor muscles before engaging them in fine motor activity.
4. Pincher Grasp – The physical act of writing requires the coordinated use of forefinger and thumb, our ‘pincher grasp’. Playing with beads, board games, play dough and other finger oriented games, help kids develop and fine tune their grasp, preparing them for writing.
5. Cut, Paste, Paint – Learning to write is not just about writing letters. Involve kids in creative activities that include lots of hands–on doing. Craft projects that include cutting, painting and gluing, help develop fine motor and sequencing skills.
6. Learn to Draw – Writing letters is about drawing shapes and requires observation and lots of practice. Learning to draw helps develop observation skills, attention to detail, patience and endurance, all while kids are having fun.
7. Anywhere, Anytime – Don’t limit writing to paper and pencil. Finger paints are not just for flowers. Encourage little ones to finger draw in pudding on their high chair tray. Use sticks to trace letters and numbers in the sand. Use fingers to write on foggy windows and mirrors.
8. Fresh Box of Crayons – There is nothing like the site and smell of a fresh box of crayons, for adults and children alike. Break open a new box, get some good coloring books and spend time coloring with your kids.
9. Write It Down – Hang a dry erase board in the kitchen, low enough for your kids to reach. Invite them to write down what’s needed from the grocery store, make lists, or leave “I love you” notes for mom or dad.
10. Practice Makes Perfect – Don’t leave it all for school. There are a lot of kids in the classroom and lots to accomplish in a day. Time spent at home writing will help your child gain mastery, while boosting self-confidence.
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What is your child’s learning style? There are three basic learning styles; visual, tactile, and auditory. Take the test and get immediate results: Is your child a visual learner?