Sunday, February 6, 2011

Writing & Spelling

On Thursday I decided it was time to have a little chat about some behaviors that are unacceptable that we have been seeing in Selena lately. To keep her attention from roaming, I pulled out some paper and first asked her to draw a picture of herself. I thought I had scanned it in my computer, but I guess I didn’t. Her picture of herself was quite cute the way she even drew her lips instead of just a line for the smile. As we continued our talk I asked her to draw a picture of Pal. Instead of drawing a picture she wrote his name.
I was proud of the fact that she did this all on her own, needing no help from me with the spelling. While she has her lowercase a backwards, I know that she will figure that out as we move along learning how to write.
Papa This was her attempt at writing Papa, you can clearly see it does say Papa, then she just had to add some extra letters on the end, D, O, and Q. Again she just spelled this on her own. Yes she has an extra letter in the middle of the word, I believe she meant to make that a p but got a little side tracked in her thought process.
She then decided to try to just write her ABC’s. Now this is her first attempt at making a B all by herself. Why she got the D before the C is beyond me other then maybe she is still a little unsure of herself when writing some letters. We are constantly finding her little written letters all over the house. She keeps discovering more and more letters that she can write. She is also discovering that she can write the numbers, 0, 1, 2, 3 and 5. The doodle pad has come back out which she hasn’t played with much in a long time, but now is exploring her new fond love of writing daily on.
As for the behavior, after our discussion this morning so far so good, we have had a very good day with none of the inappropriate behaviors. Sometimes I believe a child just needs a gentle reminder of our expectations.
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  1. This is great that Selena experiments with writing. Anna's writing resembles Selena's very much even though they have constant writing practice in school.

  2. It would be better if you taught her how to make the letters first rather than her discovering how to make them. I let my now 13 year old son make his letters the way he wanted to at first and we are still struggling over his handwriting as the incorrect letter formations are were so ingrained by the time I got to teaching him the correct way, that he couldn't switch. I wish someone had told me.

  3. I recommend iwrite app which K had fun learning how to form letters correctly.

  4. Phyllis' comment is interesting. I let all my children free write, when they were first learning their letters, and so far it's turned out okay. My older children all write normally, if not always neatly, now.

  5. I could see both points of view. I've seen kids who write well very naturally without much intervention. Some kids need more guidance and when bad habits are formed, it's very difficult to break. I try to take a balanced approach. I show her how the letters are formed and give her opportunities to practice but in no way demand perfection. I give her a great deal of freedom once she knows the basics. Oddly enough, she's been substituting the upper case letter B for the lower case b in her writing. I think it's less confusing that way for her. Also, with spelling, I give her the correct spelling when asked for but I also allow her to use invented spelling when she can. You have to know your child and see what she or she responds to best.

  6. We have worked through the Kumon workbooks many times, which was a free time or boredom breaker for Selena. I have seen children who do great with learning to write freely as Leah mentioned, while I have also seen children who needed the more structured learning as Phyllis mentioned.

    Right now we are just letting Selena explore, what she remembers from the Kumon workbooks, and what she discovers in her scribbles. I do feel we will use some sort of a more formal writing program, but that will all depend upon Selena, right now for her age, I think she is doing great with her writing, while some letters are not perfect, we again have to address the motor skills that are still developing. I will say that I like what Joyful Learner had to say, sometimes it truly does depend on the child. Spelling is the same way here, I often spell words for Selena when she asks, while other times she just tries on her own. Many times again she surprises her and I both with her spelling abilities, other times it is hit and miss, but it is the effort that she puts into learning those sounds and interpreting what she hears.

  7. Well done on the letter formations. I have onlyjust now started to remind K of the correct way to form her letters, if she has them the wrong way round. I think you want the writing to be fun especially so early on.

  8. C is in first grade. He has used Handwriting Without Tears for the past three years. He still makes mistakes and writes the occasional letter backwards. I don't worry about it, but I will ask him to review his work to find errors; he always finds them. He doesn't always form his letters the proper way (he may start a letter at the bottom), but his handwriting is neat and legible.