JK Newsletter

October 15, 2016

Encouraging your child as a writer...

Display children’s writing in a special place—the refrigerator, a bed-room door, on a cork board, or taped to a tile in the bathroom. This tells children that their writing is important and worthy of being shown.

Model writing. Whether writing a shopping list, letter, or e-mail and when completing an application or ordering from a catalog, explain what you are doing. Let your child join in.

Invite your child to dictate stories to you.

At play time, ask your child to tell you a story about where the cars and trucks are going or who lives in the Lego house. Write down exactly what your child says, and read it aloud afterward.

Create greeting cards for special occasions. Provide paper and crayons or markers so children can make cards and then “sign” their names when finished. Show them old cards with phrases like “Happy Birthday,” “I Love You,” and “Season’s Greetings” to copy on their cards.

Create an “office” for your child. Include things like different kinds of paper, envelopes, pencils and pens, crayons, stickers, and labels on a shelf near a desk or table or in a basket your child can carry to a comfortable place for writing. Add interesting and exciting materials like address and date books, calendars, and an old computer keyboard.

Give writing tasks while running errands. Have your child write a “reverse shopping list.” Provide a pad and pencil so he or she can make a list of things you’ve bought. At the bank, give your child a blank deposit slip while you fill out yours. These tasks let children write and keep them busy!

Put writing materials in several places around the house. Provide pencils, crayons, and/or markers in coffee cans or baskets and small unlined pads, notebooks, or clip-boards with paper attached in the bathroom, kitchen, or in the car. Make sure you discuss that the only place in the room where the child should be writing is on the paper.

Take it outside! Let your child write or draw with chalk or old paintbrushes and water on side-walks and fences.

Encourage all of your child’s writing efforts.

Families can make writing part of their children’s everyday lives at home!

What the experts say...

I recently reread the NAEYC’s (National Association for the Education of Young Children) position statement, “Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children.” I wanted to share with you a paragraph that I think will encourage you as you take the time to invest in reading to your child…


“The single most important activity for building these understandings and skills essential for reading success appears to be reading aloud to children (Wells 1985; Bus, Van Ijzendoorn, & Pellegrini 1995). High-quality book reading occurs when children feel emotionally secure (Bus & Van Ijzendoorn 1995; Bus et al. 1997) and are active participants in reading (Whitehurst et al. 1994). Asking predictive and analytic questions in small group settings appears to affect children’s vocabulary and comprehension of stories (Karweit & Wasik 1996). Children may talk about the pictures, retell the story, discuss their favorite actions, and request multiple rereadings. It is the talk that surrounds the storybook reading that gives it power, helping children to bridge what is in the story and their own lives (Dickinson & Smith 1994; Snow et al. 1995).”

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