For Mother’s Day I sat with my grandson and together we made a present for mom. Knowing mom loves his art, I taught Brayden how to draw a pot of flowers. After drawing we talked about colors and coloring until ‘all the white parts of the paper were covered’. Four-year-old Brayden sat still, used his fine motor skills, was quiet, intentional and focused for at least forty minutes. His satisfaction and finished drawing was a reminder of how much impact forty minutes of focused activity means to a developing preschooler.
Imagine being a kindergarten teacher, tasked with teaching 25 sweet young students how to write. It’s a pretty daunting task and not for the faint of heart. Now imagine how much harder it is if these young ones can’t sit still, use a pencil, follow directions or spend much time in any focused task. Now imagine the enormity of the task for your kindergartener. There’s a lot riding on being able to write – and write legibly. From now on school is going to be about writing. The physical act of writing, even the speed of one’s writing, will matter every day, in every subject.
Like most educators, I believe preparation for learning needs to happen long before a child enters a formal education setting. And that learning can dramatically impact your child’s classroom success. So where does a child start learning how to write? Teach them how to draw. Drawing is natural for young kids. Drawing is writing – visual writing. Give them paper and pencils, crayons and markers and let them have at it.