Sunday, September 4, 2011

encouraging writing


I've been thinking a lot about learning lately.  How kids learn and how to encourage it.  Partially because a teacher recently asked me "what did you do?" (to turn out such clever boys).  I guess we did do quite a lot of learning things when the boys were preschoolers but not really formal stuff like reading and writing lessons.  Mostly it was about following their interests and doing fun things.  Exposing them to a wide variety of experiences and joining in doing things with me (like cooking and gardening).   And talking, always talking, and reading heaps of books.  I had a friend who taught new entrants and she emphasised to me the importance of kids knowing the letter sounds rather than the letter names which I would never have thought of myself.  Just in case you have a kid whose almost school age it was quite a handy tip.

One of the ways I have encouraged the boys to write is by sewing them these "letter satchels" (from Soule Mama's Handmade Home) for their correspondence.  Sometimes we sit down and write to grandparents, cousins and friends.  Both boys love having the old replies and postcards to reread "I'm just rewinding my memories" my 7 year old told me after reading them one day.  So sweet.


Another thing they like is to write on post it notes and stick them on things.  Or reminder notes to stick on the fridge.  Our perfectionist child wouldn't write anything for a long time because he hated making mistakes.  He has no problem with it any more but for a while I gave him stickers to cover up any errors.  It seemed to make him way less inclined to screw up the whole thing and have a melt down.  

The note writing thing worked well for him because to write a little "muffins for the zoo" note on the fridge was much less threatening than a letter or a story.  They've also enjoyed writing menus and shopping lists and lists of toys they'd like!!

If you're wanting more ideas to encourage your kids writing try these sites...

Some old blog posts of mine about writing 

5 comments:

  1. love this post, can't wait to read thru all your other writing posts tomorrow! so want to make a letter satchel now...

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  2. Grandpa9:56 PM

    You guys are good communicators with your boys and give them the priceless gift of your time and love - it shows, thankyou Grandpa xxooxx

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  3. ahhh my lil Philosopher sounds similar to your Mr Perfectionist - along with being scared of making mistakes/errors he is painfully shy ;(
    Can't wait to read through your list AND to make letter sachets for my kids!

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  4. This is great Meg. I am a great believer of exposure and encouraging from an early age too. Love the writing satchels. One day I may make them.....:) I really should. Olivia would love one, Theo would stuff his full of lego!

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  5. How very wonderful. Your boys are so fortunate to have such caring, dedicated, and thoughtful parents. This is such a special idea. My oldest daughter used to be the same with her writing, but now loves to write with confidence.

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so lovely to hear from you xx