Five Simple Things You Should Know to Help Your Young Child Become an Amazing Writer

​I am often asked the question, How can I teach my child to write?  Since reading and writing go hand in hand, the best way to start “teaching” writing is by reading.  Teaching a love of writing at this early age is so important for future successes a writer. There are a few things you should know about the early stages of writing.

Scribbles Are Important

Early writing really begins with drawing or scribbling. These random marks on the page are very important beginnings to the writing process. If you watch your child, you will see that these “scribbles” soon turn into long wavy lines resembling writing. This usually happens between the ages of 2 and 4.Next in the development of writing at this age, you’ll likely see your child making letter-like markings. These won’t really be true letters, but represent them.

Recognize Letter Strings

Around age 4 or 5 you’ll start to see real letters in strings on the page. They may or may not make real words.  More often than not, they are simply the letters your child enjoys making in non-phonetic blocks and lines. Don’t be alarmed if many of these are backward. This is totally normal.

Inventive Spelling is “Real” Spelling

When inventive spelling emerges on the page, (usually around age 5 or 6,) the fun begins! Now your child is using his or her own spelling according to how he or she makes the letter-sound correspondence.  This is my very favorite stage of writing and children are so excited to be able to put their sounds to paper and have others decipher it! One thing you can do to celebrate this success is read your child’s stories aloud. I promise, the more you read this inventive spelling, the better you will get at being able to decipher it. Hint: “speak” it as your child speaks; try to talk like your child. When my daughter was young, she had trouble with the “bl” blend and her writing at this stage reflected this.

Have Your Child Share Their Work

Children love to share their writing. Ask you child to be an author and sit in an “author’s chair” – a special chair designed for the sharing of the written word. Ask your child to sit in this chair (or wear a special hat, or other special thing to signify author’s time).  Be an active listener.  Invite the whole family. Ask questions about the story. Comment on what you enjoyed about it.

What Not To Do

It is very important not to correct a child’s spelling or grammar right now. Let them enjoy the free flowing feeling of writing without worry whether it is “right” or not. Spelling is one of those skills that is best acquired over time and does not come by rote memorization, constant correction or practice writing words correctly over and over again. (I’ll have much more to say on this subject in later posts.)

Later On

Around age 7 is when children begin to use more and more conventional spelling in their writing and spells most words correctly. Now is the time to teach simple grammar rules, which we’ll talk more about later on.

Useful Books:

This is an oldie but a goodie. It is hard to get a hold of, but if you can find it, it is gold:
Using Word Walls to Strengthen Student Reading and Writing at the Emergent Level

​Playful Writing: 150 Open-Ended Explorations in Emergent Literacy

Literacy-Building Play in Preschool: Lit Kits, Prop Boxes, and Other Easy-to-Make Tools to Boost Emergent

Reading and Writing Skills Through Dramatic Play

The following books are excellent books for teachers and are a must-have when you are teaching little ones during these early years:

Soaring with Reading and Writing: a highly effective emergent literacy program 

Teaching Beginning Writers

Curriculum We Recommend

All About Spelling

If you have an older child who is struggling with writing, we recommend our “How to Write the Perfect 5-Paragraph Essay” course. At Our Happy Medium Academy, we believe that learning should be fun!

Helpful Websites

Get Ready to Read (GRTR)

International Reading Association (IRA)

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL)

Reading is Fundamental (RIF)

Reading Rockets

How to Get Organized This Christmas

Making a plan for your holiday can save you time and money.

Getting organized for Christmas is easy with our cute, printable planner!

Inside this 12-page planner you’ll find:

  • Gift Tracker

  • Card Tracker

  • Menu Planner

  • Printable Gift Cards

  • Printable Recipe Cards

  • Calendar

  • Pages for Notes

free printable Christmas planner

Download yours today!

Merry Christmas from all of us at Our Happy Medium!

Why You Should Incorporate Educational Games in Your Homeschool

why you should incorporate educational games in your homeschool

There’s never enough time to do all that we want to do during our homeschool days, am I right? I have so many ideas that never come to fruition, so many things that I want to expose my girls to, but much of it never seems to happen. And the days go by. And then the weeks and the months and, well you get the picture. That’s why you should incorporate educational games in your homeschool.

Natural Learning

You know that I am a big fan of child-led, natural learning. Games are one way that provide children with information, but in a fun way that either relates to the real-world, or to something else that they are learning about; this is why unit studies are great!

Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner identified seven different intelligences among students. Educational games speak to many of these intelligences. If you haven’t read Gardner’s work, make it a priority.

Interpersonal

Playing games is a great way to teach interpersonal skills. Whether it is a cooperative game such as Wildcraft! (listed below), or a very competitive game such as chess, we can learn so much about ourselves and others simply by playing games together!

Touch on the Subjects You Don’t Have Time For

In our homeschool, we love the arts and sciences. Art History is a favorite as is Classical music. We love the sciences, especially experimenting. We also love learning about natural medicines and holistic living. I have found that the way to “sneak” these subjects in is to find games that nurture our love for such things. I’ve linked and listed our favorites for these subject areas below.

Family Game Night

I can testify from experience that family game night is even more fun as your kids get older. When the games are geared toward the things you love as a family, they’re even more fun. Spending time and learning together is a win for everyone!

The Ultimate Homeschool Mom Gift Guide

The Ultimate Homeschool Resource Shopping Guide

It’s that time of year when everyone is looking to find the best deal on whatever they’ve had their eye on for the past year. I don’t love shopping, but I do enjoy getting a good deal and I like sharing those deals, too. This ultimate holiday season homeschool mom gift guide will inspire you!

Homeschool Wish Lists

We all have them! I love getting my Rainbow Resource catalogs in the mail and I mark things all year long. I have been known to put homeschooling items on my personal Christmas wish list, too.

Support Small Business

I don’t know about you, but I remember when the “big box stores” started taking over all the mom and pop businesses in and around the area I lived. It made me sad back then, but it makes me even sadder now that I’m (more of) a grownup, and a small business owner. In my town, there are many small businesses, and I do all that I can to keep them going. I enjoy shopping on Etsy and also on Amazon (supporting small businesses like my own!)

From One Homeschooler to Another

We homeschoolers have to stick together! I’ve met so many amazing homeschooling parents who also work either part-time or full time to supplement income. If these moms have a product to sell, and if it is something that I can use (or gift to someone!) I’m all about supporting them. After all, The homeschooling community is amazing in this way. Support your peeps by buying from the ultimate homeschool mom gift guide

Make Your Shopping List AND Your Wish Lists

Make a list of all the “wants” you have for your homeschool. Then make a list of all the things you’d love to have for your family (family game night, anyone?!) Don’t forget to make a list of things you’d love to have, too. We homeschool moms often put ourselves last, don’t we?

Shop the following categories in this guide:

  1. homeschool
  2. girls
  3. family
  4. faith

Share your lists with your loved ones and wait to see what gifts you might receive!

Take Advantage of the Black Friday prices and make your shopping lists for your friends and family, too. You will see that our How to Write the Perfect 5-Paragraph Essay course is on a super Black Friday deal that you won’t want to miss!

 

Tips for Celebrating Advent with Older Kids

Top Five Tips for Celebrating Advent With Older Kids
I’m guest posting today over at Life of a Homeschool Mom! Just because our kids are getting older, doesn’t mean that we have to stop the fun holiday traditions. Come on over and see my top five tips for celebrating Advent with older kids.

Included is a FREE Advent Activity printable geared toward the older kids.

Before you head on over to Life of a Homeschool Mom, be sure to grab our The Story of Advent Printable Pack for your little ones. This 14-page pack includes copy work, matching, sight word practice and much more.

We have something for everyone at Our Happy Medium!

Have a blessed holiday season. <3

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