While there is always a time and a place for formal writing and learning grammar and techniques, I find my kids make the most progress through a more organic method of learning. By organic I mean naturally occuring…a term I fell in love with while reading this article in Homeschooling Today.
I have a five year old boy and a three (almost 4) year old girl who are at that age where writing has suddenly become very important. If these had been my first I would have been lining up the preschool-kindergarten curriculum. But they are numbers 3 and 4 sandwiched between six kids and I’d like to think I’m a bit wiser now.
They really don’t need much from me. They seek out writing utensils whenever they possible can…pencils, crayons, markers, chalk, sharpies…whatever they can get their hands on whether it is out to use freely or locked up. They write on everything…paper, scraps, notebooks, recycled material, the walls, furniture, cement. They mark their territory as individualism starts to shine. (As I type my laptop cooling pad sports the name “Luc” in sharpie). They are fascinated with letters and all I have to do is where t-shirts for quick 5 minute lessons as they point out and sound out letters on my chest. They draw picture upon picture upon picture and sign their name to everything.
Why was I ever worried with my first that I had to “teach” writing? God gave them these amazing brains that develop and unfold in His perfect timing. In the same way we don’t sweat teaching our children to talk, I’ve learned that we don’t need to do much for writing either. Showing them how letters are formed here and there, providing them with tracing opportunites so they can “do” school with the others, and writing down (dictating) their stories as they want is about the extent I do now. I know that later there will be copywork and dictation that will ease them into excellent grammar, spelling, and composition work. But, for now, I will thoroughly enjoy watching them discover writing on their own.
Unadulterated passion for learning…
A natural extension of who they really are…
Isn’t that worth stepping out of the way for?
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