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How Children Learn to Write

Recognize this?

When I see children create circles with appendages, I cannot help but smile. These sweet drawings represent a stage in learning how to write; the simple sketch demonstrates that they are on their way to eventually putting words to paper. You can see the full spectrum of the Developmental Stages of Writing here.

As your child emerges into writing, know that they may not spell words "correctly". Instead, young children sound out words phonetically; they write down the sounds they can hear. This results in adorable, invented spellings. If we demand that they spell words as the dictionary does, we might inadvertently stymie their enthusiasm for writing. As they learn more phonetic rules and have repeated experiences with words as readers, they will fine-tune their spelling.

All children learn at their own pace. We honor this by giving individual and small group presentations. In Children’s House, with the Developmental Stages of Writing in mind, we encourage children to:

  1. Strengthen their fine motor muscles through puzzles, art, metal insets, and Practical Life activities to prepare their hands for writing letters with a pencil.

  2. Associate letters with the sound they represent.

  3. Sound out words phonetically and, when they can, record the sounds they hear with the Movable Alphabet.

  4. Learn additional spelling rules, such as blends (sled), digraphs (chin), and long vowel patterns (train, late).

  5. Integrate sight words (common words such as “and” and “the”) and conventions such as spaces between words and punctuation at the end of sentences.

  6. Practice letter formation.

  7. LOVE writing and expressing themselves.

Thank you for learning with us!

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