How does a parent assess a young preschooler’s learning development? Undoubtedly, countless moms and dads out there are constantly wondering if their little one is on par with their classmates when it comes to, for example, age-appropriate writing skills? Should they worry if their kids aren’t coloring within the lines? Should they panic if their child can’t hold a pencil properly? It’s easy to see that assessing a child’s developmental level isn’t as easy as keeping track of their height on a growth chart, now is it?
The Preschool Educator: A Parent’s Assessment Assessor
Although a parent is always the first individual to observe how a child is progressing developmentally, their biggest help will come from an educator’s keen insight. Who better than a teacher, and educated educator to countless little people, to properly assess your child’s learning and developmental progress during their preschool years.
When it comes specifically to early writing skills, these following informative tips will help parents understand exactly how their preschoolers should be developing and how they can better support their early writing skills.
Daddy, What Are All Those Squiggly Lines?
When talking to kids about writing, adults should clarify what the whole point of writing IS. To communicate! Once they understand how writing works, and how it connects to reading and the communication of information through words and symbols, they will then grasp its importance. Go ahead and show them how written words are EVERYWHERE and are simply a part of daily life. From their favorite cereal boxes to Dad’s prized cookbook (the one with that awesome Mac and Cheese recipe), to Mom’s precious avocado and honey mud mask, (oh, and let’s not forget billboards and signs in stores), it would be hard to function in the world WITHOUT the knowledge of reading and writing.
Early Writing Skills Often Begin at Home
Here are some creative activities parents can use to help encourage writing skills:
1) Chalk, crayons and finger paint! Oh, my!
Preschoolers LOVE to try new things…and get messy! If you don’t have a stash of writing tools and art supplies yet, now is the perfect time to pick up some pencils, crayons, washable markers, washable finger paint, and chalk. It’s a good idea to have a designated box for all these writing goodies, as well as a generous amount of paper that your child has easy access to. You can even suggest they decorate it themselves. Sticker time!
2) Yo! Van Gogh! Step aside…my kid’s trying to express themselves.
Drawing is the first step towards writing. It is through drawing that our children can express their feelings, ideas and tell their own stories. Here, they’re communicating. Just try to remember that getting messy is all part of the learning process.
3) For, what is in a name? Ummm…letters?
Often, writing begins with teaching your child to print their name. Take it easy…just start with the first name. Remember, this will take some time for them to master, so patience is a must (for both parties). But, when all is said and done (and practiced and written!) you will have yourself one very empowered little preschooler!
Early Writing Skills in the Preschool Setting
It’s always a good idea to talk with your child’s educator about how writing is being taught and practiced in the classroom. Is your child doing well? Or are they struggling? Their teacher is also the best person to tell you what specific early writing skills your child will be required to master to have a successful start in kindergarten.