Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Making Writing Meaningful

My normally school loving boy has been objecting lately! I've come to realize that he doesn't love writing; and that's fine since it isn't exactly developmentally appropriate for an almost four year old.  The actual physical act of writing is difficult and frustrating for him all of a sudden. I'm pretty sure the change has come from learning lowercase letters, and from me placing more of an emphasis on handwriting.

For me the most important part of homeschooling my children is fostering their love of learning. So, we're making modifications around here to keep the love going. For example, when his Explode the Code workbox requires writing I sometimes let him use magnets or stamps instead.

With each task we do I 'm asking myself what I want the focus to be. When we made our butterfly observation book last week. The important part was learning to observe. We did this through talking and drawing. I wrote some of our observations in the book and he just added his name.  I won't modify forever, when handwriting becomes more developmentally appropriate we'll have to work on it.

I do want Ryan to enjoy writing, and be exposed to it everyday. So, I'm working on making writing meaningful for him.  He loves writing letters to friends, and adding notes to pictures he draws. To help keep him writing I created a writing center. I actually made one for him and two for friends with birthdays next week. I bought the cases at Michaels (they're 40% off right now). In each case there's a smaller box with an assortment of pencils, pens, crayons, and markers.  I included note cards, list paper, journals, all kinds of blank paper, postcards, post its, stickers, letter stamps, envelopes, personalized return address labels, a clip board and a dry erase board. I hope all of these supplies will get the kids excited about writing!!! I personalized the outside of each case and included some ideas on the inside to get the kids started. You can print the ideas here.

Tonight we're going to set up a family mail center. Like the one on from Let's Explore!

How do you encourage your kids to write? Please leave a comment with your ideas.
Have you written or seen other great posts about getting kids to write- if so link up!


  1. We have a writing center but I don't do regular writing lessons with our daughter. Instead, I just let her do it at her whim. She loves to draw and sometimes I write down the words she dictates. This motivated her to write words on her own which were circles and lines for a while. Now, she likes to write her name, mom and dad everywhere. Since she writes so much, I fear that she's developing bad habits already but I don't want to over correct her in fear that it will turn her off. So I model instead whenever I can.

  2. It's an interesting post. Regardless of my many efforts to encourage writing, daughter is not in the least interested (she is 3.5 now). She can write her own name, and she reads very fluently, so letter recognition is not a problem. She is also not really into drawing either. Like you, I don't want to push her and believe that she will progress rapidly when her motor skills mature. We do have writing center, and like many things of that nature it worked beautifully... for a day or two. Then the novelty disappeared, and she rejected all writing efforts yet again.

  3. Oh great idea! I love how you have it all in a little box which is nice to keep everything together and also great if you don't have space around the house to set up a writing center. thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  4. Love your writing box! It's a great idea to include the child's name on the front. I didn't think of that. =)

  5. Thanks for sharing this with me. We have a writing drawer but it's usually just a mess of stuff. I'm thinking your idea would help make it more accessible to him. Also, didn't think of including his name. That's important! Love your blog. I don't think I was following yet but I am def. following now!!