Helping Your Child At Home
In Kindergarten students are learning how to compose a variety of texts. By the end of the year students should be able to:
- write 2 or more simple, coherent thoughts that are connected to their drawing
- use invented spelling which means they are able to say words slowly and write down the sounds they hear (they are not expected to spell all words correctly)
- spell our sight words correctly in the context of their writing
- create recognizable drawings
- write left to right
- use appropriate spaces between words
- use capitalization and punctuation correctly (capital letter at the beginning of the sentence and a period at the end)
- share the main idea of their writing
Before using some of the ideas that I have listed below, please read the following tips:
- DON'T constantly correct your child’s spelling. Children should feel like successful, independent writers. If children feel like they can’t write without perfect spelling, they will not think of themselves as writers. Don't worry, your child will develop standard spelling as he gets older.
- DO hold your child accountable for spelling sight words that he has spent a long time learning about and practicing in school.
- DON'T tell your child how to spell every word. Instead say, "Say the word slowly and write down the sounds your hear." At school we call this stretching out the word. Usually kids start by representing beginning sounds, then beginning and ending sounds. The final stage of invented spelling comes when kids are able to include middle sounds. For example, if a child is asked to spell the word “cat” she might start by writing “c” then “ct” and finally “cat”.
- DO encourage a love of writing! Writing should be a fun, low stress activity. Take the pressure off your child to spell all words correctly and instead praise him for his imaginative story or interesting details.
- DON'T make your child sit down and write for long periods of time. One or two sentences in one sitting is fine.
- DO use fun paper, pens, markers, notebooks, crayons, and pencils to make writing more enjoyable and developmentally appropriate for your child.
Ideas for Writing at Home
- Read! Read! Read!-Read to and with your child. Children who read extensively become better writers. The Cross Oaks library is open until 5:00 on Tuesdays.
- Keep a Journal-Encourage your child to write about things that happen at home and school, about people, things to remember or things your child wants to do.
- Take Notes-Encourage your child to take notes on trips or outings and to describe what he saw. This could include a description of nature walks, a boat ride, a car trip, or other events that lend themselves to note-taking.
- Letters & Cards-Encourage your child to write letters to friends and family on holidays, birthdays, or just because. Write thank you notes and party or play date invitations. Find a pen pal for your child.
- Make Lists-Have your child help you make grocery or to do lists. Children can also make lists of toys, friends, favorite movies, etc...
- Stories-Encourage your child to use his imagination to write stories.
- Comics-Read comics in the newspaper and let your child write his own comic.