Books, books, books!
We’re making books, reading books, and talking about books over here–between trips to the pool and bike rides, that is.
With our summer schedules in full swing, I know it will be hard to get my little ones writing every day, but I’m going to try my hardest.
Every little bit counts. So our easy, everyday writing focus will be names.
One thing I loved about Owen’s preschool last year was that his teachers had the students focus on their names right when the kiddos entered the room each day. For the first few weeks, students simply found their name card on the chart and flipped it over. Mid-year, they wrote their first name on a card, and come spring, these little guys were writing (or trying to write) their first and last names on the card.
Even with our later-bedtimes and lazier mornings, our summer days will begin the same: our Everyday Name Books.
- Everyday Name Books: The premise? Simple: write their name on one page each day so that their little fingers don’t forget the all-too-important tripod grip and so they can practice their name. That’s it.
Small and simple is the word for these little Name Books, but the payoff (I’m hoping!) will be big. Maddy, Owen, and Cora each have their own mini-spiral notebook, each in their own color. Their names are on the front of their books.
Each person has his or her “special pen” with a name flag (masking tape with name on it!) but they can use any pen from the pen jar they’d like.
Maddy knows how to write her name; at 6, she’s got that under control (phew!). But what she doesn’t write regularly is her full name–first, middle, and last–so that’s my focus for her. I want her to be able to write her beautiful, full name, ‘Madeline’ without thought.
Owen, at 4, still has a tendency to write his name with the letters scattered on the page. My goal for Owen is to make a habit of writing his name in a line and to write his name with the proper mix of uppercase and lowercase letters. Mid-summer, we’ll move to first and last name for him.
I wrote Cora’s name with a highlighter on top of the first few pages, so she can continue to see her letters each day and trace them if she’d like. (She was totally against tracing the first few days. . . )
We’ll begin with a focus on letter ‘C’ for her, and we’ll go from there. She just turned 3 years old in March. I’m really not worried.
And that’s it. Just names. At the breakfast table. Every day that we remember. And if someone wants to draw a bird on their page or a snake or numbers 1-10, that’s fine.
I am just hoping that we can keep it up and that they’ll be proud of themselves when they can write their names (and read them!) without much effort, come September. Or at least they’ll be proud of the progress they made in their Everyday Name Books during the short summer weeks. . .
Don’t worry–our only writing won’t be names this summer. We’ll throw in some letter- and postcard writing now and again, story writing when we’re moved to do so, and anything else I can sneak in when the kids are willing.
Need some more name-learning inspiration? Check out:
And that’s our teeny bit of sneaky summer learning for today. Happy writing!