Tips for Young Writers
Tips to remember about your young writers (ages 5-8):
1. The best curriculum for this age is still face paints and dress up clothes. Play, exploration, acting out—these teach. Trust the process.
2. Riddles, jokes, rhymes, poems, puns, secrets, mysteries, the alphabet (write it big, write it small, write it backwards, write it with chalk on the driveway, write it one letter per page, fit all the letters on a post-it note, write every other letter – not easy!), names (family, pets, streets, cities, imaginary friends, real friends, favorite characters). Play, explore, write, say, pretend with all of these, often, as much as you can.
3. For original writing: they talk, you write it down. End of discussion. Unless they are choosing to write their own thoughts on their own, you have no obligation to get them to write their own thoughts in their own hand by themselves. If they are writing their own thoughts, hug them—be a fan. Not a word of criticism about spelling, handwriting, story completion, or logic. Just kudos for the surprise of their self-starting joy!
4. For transcription: a handwriting book, simple copywork (one word a day can be more than enough for some kids), French dictation (explained in BW products), copying their own stories (only have them copy a paragraph, a sentence at a time, or more if THEY choose, but don’t require more in one sitting).
5. Read TO your kids OUT LOUD, everything you see—billboards, refrigerator magnets, ads in magazines you are paging through, funny comments on Facebook as you scroll through your feed, the text your husband just sent, the preface to a book, the instructions for the XBox, newspaper briefs, the side of the spice jar, the back of the muffin mix, the clever tag line on the shoe box… And yes, read quality literature aloud too. But read everything aloud… freely, often, commenting, laughing about it, noticing it.
6. Pair odious tasks with brownies and hugs.
7. Get outside, have big experiences, explore the world. For heaven’s sake, don’t worry yet. You’ll get to worry so much in the teen years and pine for these early years. So I’m here to tell you—play, explore, enjoy. Pick a fruit no one has ever eaten and eat it. Go to the zoo 3 times a week or the beach or the woods, if you dare. Make recipes for sludge and slime and baking soda volcanoes. No worrying.
That’s it. Really. Math isn’t my thing, but you can figure that out I’m sure. As my wise homeschool mom friend said to me: “Any math book teaches 1+1. Heck, we can do it ourselves.”
Also, our Jot It Down product is perfect for these ages!
Image by Brave Writer mom Tiffany