Do you have a budding writer? My son, who is four, previously had zero interest in writing. He knew his letters and liked to draw, so I left it at that. I knew he was gaining the skills he’d need for writing just from drawing – holding a pen/pencil/marker/crayon, making lines and circles. Writing letters is the next step towards literacy.
On a recent visit to the main library’s Early Learning Center, he was inspired to write the alphabet at the writing station. He needed some reference on some of the letters, so I pulled an alphabet puzzle nearby. There was some frustration when he didn’t get a letter just the way he wanted it, but he was finally able to cross it out and move on. He was so proud of the finished work and was glad to show it to the librarian when we left.
A co-worker told me about a book that sounded like it would be a big help to my son. It is about a dog named Stan who has trouble writing letters. He is afraid to ask for help and thinks he is the only one in his class who can’t do it. But with his friend’s encouragement, he asks the teacher for help. She has Stan and another classmate practice, practice, practice writing letters (with paint, in sand, and finally with pencils on paper). In the end, of course, he was able to write “Happy birthday” on a card for the principal. If you know a child who gets easily frustrated, Back to Front and Upside Down by Claire Alexander may be just the boost of confidence they need.