Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teaching Tuesday:
How to get your child to write over summer vacation

Being a teacher I always worry about my students over the summer.  I know that they are not reading (at least not as much as they should) and that causes the backward slide when September rolls around. Then we play catch up for the first month before we can actually move forward. It is frustrating to say the least.

So, now that I have a child who is in school (B-Bear is going into 1st grade) I knew I had to do something to continue his reading and writing practice over the summer.

This is what we did...
First we bought a super cool notebook together.

Then I started with a letter to my dear son. I made sure to use words that he could read easily. I also ask a couple questions, so that he would have something to write about back to me.

B's writing at the beginning of the summer.

Here is the best part...or at least B. thinks so. When the letter is finished the writer puts it under the pillow of the other person. A little surprise to find later.

So we started this and at first, B. protested. He didn't want to write or when he wrote I needed to sit with him and help him. I knew this would happen too...come on, he is a boy after all. 

Write instead of ride my bike, jeez, mom!

A few Miner adjustments....we write at bedtime to avoid missing out on any outdoor fun and to avoid any arguments.

Now, a couple weeks in he is asking me to leave when he writes.  That is progress! It is just as much fun for me to get a letter as it is for him to get one.

And I have changed it up a little on a couple letters.  Instead of having him write a response to me, I will have him practice spelling some sight words that he is having trouble with or have him make a list or draw a picture.

Someday, we will look back at this together and get a laugh out of the misspellings and pictures and I know that I will get choked up thinking about the little boy that he once was.

Look how much he has improved just after a few weeks!
Don't you just love the way he spelled "friends"?

PS...Here are some other ideas for writing with your kids

1. Make grocery lists.
2. Keep track of all the books you have read together and hang it up.
3. Write postcards to grandparents.
4. Practice sight words with chalk on the driveway.

Happy Writing!

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