Helping with Writing
At Lyde Green, we know writing is a fundamental skill that is necessary to support us in many aspects of life. Here are a few ways you can support your child with their writing skills at home.
Spelling and Phonics:
Each week, your child will come home with their weekly spellings or phonics. In Reception, these are shared via a link on the weekly school newsletter. By writing these words and phonemes, this can support motor memory. It can also help the writing process: when children know spelling patterns and have strategies to spell unfamiliar words, they can focus on the ideas in their writing and try to use ambitious vocabulary. If a child has to stop regularly to sound out words, it can break the flow of their writing or they may forget what they were writing in the first place. This can cause frustration. You can support your child at home by verbally using their words in sentences so they can understand the word in context. Children could write their spellings in sentences so they are ready to use them in their writing.
At Lyde Green, we use Nelson Handwriting to teach the skill of handwriting.
Handwriting needs to be taught in a consistent way. From the earliest stages, children will be developing their fine motor skills when they pick up writing tools and make marks on paper. This should be encouraged, and opportunities provided for children to scribble, draw, colour and develop other early writing skills. However, it is important for children to develop good habits with writing, and pencil hold and formation are important parts of this process.
When your child starts to write, we would encourage you to reinforce the ‘tripod’ grip through modelling and correction where necessary. This pencil grip gives children the most control over the movement of their writing tool. When children are beginning to form letters, we encourage children to follow set formation (generally starting at the top of the letters). Once a child can form their letters correctly, joined writing is introduced. When starting to join, we encourage clear joins, which aid fluency and accuracy in writing. Please get in touch for more information about letter formation and joins.
There are other ways in which you can be of help. These include:
- pointing out letters which have a similar formation e.g. the letters c a o d g q all start in the same way
- model writing key words (such as names) using correct letter formation and joins as appropriate for the level of your child’s progression e.g. your child’s name starts with a capital letter and capital letters do not join
- praising good effort in handwriting, especially if the error is a ‘reasonable’ attempt, before correcting any mistake
- encouraging other development of fine motor skills, such as colouring in or drawing, as well as giving ample opportunity to write.
Practical ideas to help your child at home:
- Have pencils and pens in the home to promote writing activities.
- Buy a note book or diary with your child to promote writing for pleasure or mark making.
- Colouring supports fine motor skills needed for writing. For older children mindful colouring books refine those skills.
- Allow your child to write birthday cards and seasonal cards.
- Re-write a favourite bedtime story.
- Chalkboards, magnetics letters/words on the fridge and sand trays are great alternative to engage writing.
- Reading fiction and non-fiction books at home can support building ideas and knowledge to support writing.
Here are some useful websites you can use with your child at home:
ICTgames has a variety of interactive spelling and word games for all primary ages.
This website has parent and child zones. Children can write stories, play games and there are many printable activities available too. The parent zone has great book recommendations for all ages.
This BBC game is perfect for Years 3-6. It supports grammar, punctuation and spelling skills.
There are a range of games available for many areas of the curriculum on the BBC website. Simply select your child’s year group and the subject you wish to discover and play!