Amelia loves to write stories. She often shares them as holidays gifts to grandparents or other family members. Typically, the stories have you bursting out with laughter. The stories are sidesplitting but also showcase the endearing process of writing, spelling and reading. I love everything about Amelia’s budding writer skills: misspelled words, handwriting, mixing up similar words– all of it! To me, it’s amazing to watch as she progresses and develops her new skills. Writing books have become a tool for creativity.
Before she started reading and writing, I hadn’t thought much about the connection of the two skills. Obviously, I knew they were both related but never really thought about the connection. One simply doesn’t exist without the other.
So why does writing play such an important role in literacy? When children discover writing as a form of communication, they will begin to express themselves. At first this may be random scribbles then controlled scribbles, moving to lines and patterns that turn into pictures or objects. Letters and word practice will follow next. This process allows children to explore the spelling system of our language.
As a parent, it’s vital to acknowledge the process as children are learning to write. We have the tendency to correct new writers instead of focusing on their improvement. If your child tells you that they “wrote” a letter, acknowledge it and let them send it to Grandma. If they “write” a grocery list, display it on the fridge.
Reading and writing have a reciprocal relationship — one is used to learn and enrich the other and vice versa. As a writer, the reader has a more intimate knowledge of the writing process, allowing them to have a greater connection to another author’s text.
During Amelia’s stages of writing, I’ve found a few types of books instrumental. We began with dry erase practice books. These books are perfect for writing repeatedly and wiping away clean. Learning to read these basic words while writing is also a critical part of the learning process. Plus, they are awesome for travel and restaurants!
Eventually, we moved onto step-by-step guided books that focused on story elements such as character development, plot, and ending. These books became her go-to tools! Learning how to construct different parts of a story, helped her to carefully craft and create her writings.
After that, we moved onto another type of writing book. These books introduced a more open ended aspect of writing, asking her thoughts and opinions. When asked questions about her experiences and ideas, her creativity was cut loose!
Watching Amelia develop her writing skills has been inspiring. Reading and writing have become an enjoyable activity for her and our family. Each holiday or birthday, I anxiously await the “book” that she is writing and can’t wait to see what she’s dreamed up!
All of the above books are available in my online bookstore here!