Teaching young children to write: 3 keys to success

Key: Avoid Comparing Your Child

It’s easier said than done, but as you teach your young child to write, try not to compare him with other kids his age. Just because little Susie could write phonetically at age four, or Johnny started writing sentences before your child could form the letters of the alphabet, relax! There’s no need to panic or stress.

Key: Children Develop at Different Rates

Fine-motor skills, like other stages of development, vary from child to child. Some budding writers, especially boys, will struggle with writing on a line, copying and forming letters, and putting their words and thoughts on paper. These skills and more come with time and patience. The development of a young child’s writing is best achieved through:

  • Plenty of time spent on writing activities.
  • Many opportunities to write during the school day.
  • Focused instruction that builds from your child’s efforts. 

Key: Your Child Needs You

Clearly, young children cannot learn to write on their own. Even if you create an atmosphere rich with educational materials—story books, fancy papers, colored markers, a spelling dictionary, and a pocket chart—it’s not enough. To effectively develop basic writing skills, your child needs YOU—along with your example, encouragement, and daily guidance.

This season in your child’s educational development is an opportune time to teach and model writing within a warm, safe environment. As you progress through early writing lessons, you’ll find that repetition, routine, and consistency play a vital role in teaching basic skills. There’s no way around it—your involvement with your child during writing sessions is key to his or her success.

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