Writing with your kids is an authentic way to teach them many concepts of reading and writing. I have a “shared writing” spot in our playroom and you’ll see this in most early childhood classrooms. I now use a giant notebook from a teacher store, but you could use a whiteboard, or easel chalkboard/whiteboard, a poster board…etc. You don’t have to go big either, just write together in a small notebook. We don’t write here every day…maybe once a week, or a few times a month. But it’s there…waiting for our attention when we’re ready. Sometimes we do “Family News” or other writing prompts, but back in November, I wanted to focus on gratitude!
Helping my kids have a grateful heart is high on my list of Things to Do each day. Stopping and literally counting our blessings helps keep my family in balance. I also think, like literacy skills, it takes practice, modeling, and learning from others. Using gratitude as a theme for a few months on our shared writing, helped my kids practice using valuable words like “appreciate, acknowledge, honor, praise, thankful, and grateful.” In our experience, activities like this also help with the whole sibling rivalry/fighting thing. I’m a big believer in proactive parenting (before a fight/issue/event/etc) vs reactive parenting (after a fight/issue/event–aka a lecture), which I know is easier said than done;)
Look for other integrated family writing ideas under Literacy. Even though our writing on gratitude has stopped for now, it continues in their conversations…and for that, I am grateful. -Shelisa