Encourage your LIttlest Author -

Summary:  Easy ways to encourage your young kiddos to want to write their first words.

Are you looking for ways to encourage your kids' writing skills? 

Today, I am not talking about handwriting, per se, and learning how to form the letters.  Instead, I am looking at helping your kids to express themselves with the written word.  

By that I mean, choosing words to write down, or dictate to you, about something that they are interested in.  And to see their words put into writing...

Kids can start doing this before they even know how to write their letters! 

When my daughter was young, we tried a variety of ways, to help her put words on the page.  We found the best ways to inspire my little writer, were the simple ones.  The simplier the better.  

My daughter is in college now, as a newbie freshman, and she loves to write!  This comes in handy with all the essays, research reports, and so forth that they ask of college students these days.

But she learned to love writing, starting when she began to color and paint, before she knew her ABC's.  

How could that be?  It all started with her art, when she was a preschooler.

Putting Words on Artwork

That's because we always wrote a sentence or two on her art creations.  I would ask her to tell me about the picture.  Then I would write her words on the edge of her paper for her.  She loved that!  Seeing her sentence there, as I read it back to her.  She felt proud.  And she was learning the meaning of the written word....with her words, that she dictated to me.

The News of the Day

Then, in K or 1st, or so, we began using wide lined paper, with a space for coloring. We called it "the news of the day.  I would ask my daughter to draw something about her day, or a favorite thing that she had seen recently. 

Then she would tell me about her picture.  At first, I would write the words that she dictated to me for her.  Then I wrote them down on another piece of paper for her to copy, as she learned her letters  But she always chose the words herself. 

These simple approaches were important first steps in developing early writing skills. Choosing her own words showed that she was using the written word to express herself, an important part of early literacy.  

As she learned how to form her letters, she began to write them directly on the page. 

We wrote everyday, usually... but sometimes there was just no news to write about.  Sometimes we really ran out of ideas.  We hit, what adults would call a writer's block.

My favorite Resources for Early Writers

I looked around and found a little gem of a book called 
Collaborative Books for Young Writers by Scholastic.

Collaborative Books for Young Writers

It included 25 printables, with a topic, illustration, and a place for little ones to write their words.  Each one has a different theme. And all of them were designed for early learners.....

Topics include Tooth Tales, The Pet Journal, The Suitcase Book, Magical Mail, and 21 more.  

second page for birthday book for betsy's review

How we used this book - We selected a printable, and gave the pages to my daughter to color, cut, and enjoy.  Then she dictated her words to me, or later,  wrote her own words to go with the chosen printable.  

I helped my daughter when she asked me questions, but did not correct the grammar, or look for neat handwriting, as this activity was all about expressing herself, and feeling proud of her words.  Refining things with spelling, grammar, and legible handwriting would come....much later.

My daughter loved dictating her words to me!  Each printable was designed to be made into a two page book, with a simple title page, where your child can write his own name as the author.  

birthday book page for betsy's review

And he or she is an author!  They are authors of their little books!  Making these little books not only inspires young writers, they also teach your little ones the parts of a book, which is key to early literacy.

Click here to read more.....

Where do you turn when you are looking for writing ideas for your young learners?  I love reading your comments.  What do your little ones like to write about?

The iHomeschool Network is doing a blog hop this week on how to creatively homeschool.  To reach all the other creative posts click here.

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now rising college senior, whom she homeschooled from preK through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting

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