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How is my 6.5 year old's writing?


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I KNOW I shouldn't even worry about this and let her do her own thing...but I'm just curious as to where she is and how I can help her to improve. I have nothing to judge it by at all.


She's JUST now starting to write on her own...sound things out to write a sentence or whatever. She's into making lists right now. It's kinda cute.


Anyway..this is what she wrote today (in her writing):


Frrst uoogits um

Ta Peands um levs

And TaPethe TaPe

The Lev son The

PaPere on TheTep


What it reads: First you get some tape and some leaves and tape. Then tape the leaves on the paper on the top.


She writes very slow so she ends up repeating herself. She's just now becoming better and more proficient at reading. Writing is coming along slowly. Just in the last couple of weeks has she really starting writing on her own.


She writes with lower case and caps adn doesn't space her words very well.


It just seems to me she should be further along than this.


I know I'm probably worried for no reason...but I'm her mommy and I'm supposed to worry..lol




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show a copy of her actual writing. Is she just struggling with spacing and that is why the words are clumped strangely? At this age I would often have my child tell me what he/she wanted to write and then I'd write it down to be copied or I'd just slowly tell her what she wanted to write (to help her learn to hold it in her head) and I'd help with spacing etc. as she wrote. I'm assuming this is during a school lesson. If it wasn't a school lesson I'd just smile and let her have fun. How is she with the physical act of writing? Is she a good reader? At this age there is a great variety in writing abilities. I do have a fear about letting children just "spell and go" because for some kids it ingrains wrong spellings in their minds. She is quite young though. I bet she is having fun with this early stage of writing. Mixing capital letters is common in first grade too.

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I wouldn't worry at this point largely because all of the *sounds* are in order. That's big. She's hearing the words and putting down sounds that she knows in the correct order to create words. She's not using totally inappropriate letters (they may be *wrong*, but that's not the same as absurd), and the order is correct as well. If she were leaving out major sounds completely, inserting letters with totally inappropriate sounds, or rearranging the correct (or phonetically plausible) letters into an unrecognizable mess, I'd be more concerned.


How long as she been reading? Both of my kids wrote like this when they were first beginning to read and even for a few months as they became fluent readers. By the time they hit 2 years of reading (counting from the time they could read a simple phonetic reader smoothly and without sounding out), both kids were very strong spellers. So there's definitely hope.


I would lavishly praise writing that she does on her own time. Don't feel the need to correct it or offer corrected spellings unless she asks. If she does ask, give them to her -- and coax her through sounding them out in her head, gently correcting or pointing out patterns as you go. But give her the right spelling.


When you're doing school work, you can say, "I love that you figured out these sounds in your head. You were totally right about __, but when we write the word __, we use the __ and __ to make a ___ sound. See? Okay, now you write it."


Really encourage her to *try* to spell things on her own -- she's well on her way, even if the actual spellings look a little funky right now --and let her know during school time that there *is* a right way to spell words and that you'll always be happy to help her figure it out if she's stumped.


If she spells a word correctly in one spot but incorrectly elsewhere on the page, point out where she got it right, and help her correct the one that's wrong. "See, you got it over here. We need to spell the word 'apple' the same way each time. So let's fix the 'apel' down here."


It looks like she could also use more practice on handwriting. Are you doing handwriting practice every day with you *sitting*with*her* and correcting each letter as she goes? Don't hand her a page and let her go off on her own. Sit with her. Is she holding her pencil correctly? Starting her letters at the top? Does she recognize that some letters follow the same pattern? (Like c becomes a becomes d or g or q because they all start with that initial "c" and then it's just continuing up and back down, or all the way, or up then down and a hook...) Find a good handwriting program and do *daily* gentle practice with her so she learns the most efficient ways of writing her letters. It will save her so much frustration in the long run.


But I think she's doing great so far. More regular practice (reading *and* writing), lots of encouragement, gentle correction... These things will all come together for her.

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Thanks for the help. I'm overseas and we are 14 hours ahead of where we live in the states...that's my reason for waiting all night to respond :)


She is just now starting to read better. Not perfect...still sounds out most of her words that she reads.


This writing is just having fun...we are not 'doing school' right now due to an extended stay in Singapore. She was just writing a 'list' for her papa to know how to do a project. That in itself excites me. She has HATED writing...for her to initiate it herself is huge for me. I don't hound her at all on what she is writing b/c it isn't 'school' work.


I AM having her write a 'journal' every day about the previous day's adventures. She writes one sentence and then reads it to me. I write it 'correctly' when she gets done and then she reads THAT to me. I have seen improvement there for sure.


I don't use a specific handwriting program. I did use HWOT but when we finished the last book, I stopped. Now we just do spelling words or dictation as handwriting. Yes, I do just hand it to her and walk away. I didn't think about sitting with her for that and correcting. No, she doesn't start her letters at the top either.


Good things to think about and work on her with. Thank you so much. That's why I posted :)



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I don't use a specific handwriting program. I did use HWOT but when we finished the last book, I stopped. Now we just do spelling words or dictation as handwriting. Yes, I do just hand it to her and walk away. I didn't think about sitting with her for that and correcting. No, she doesn't start her letters at the top either.


That's the one thing I would change about what you're doing with her for now. Just try to spend 5 minutes of focused, directed time on correct handwriting *every*day*. Be gentle, but require that she sit up, hold her pencil properly, and form letters the correct way.


It will make her writing so much *easier* for her, and fairly quickly too. At which point she can use her brain to focus on things like spelling and spacing. When she has to think about how to "draw" each letter every time rather than relying on muscle memory of the strokes involved, it's *hard* to concentrate on all of those other pieces at the same time.


It doesn't take a lot of time, but I believe consistency is key.


And as her reading becomes more fluent and her handwriting gets more automatic, she'll naturally be better able to put energy towards standard spellings, spacing, and mechanics. :)

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My dd is also 6.5 yo and has just started reading easy readers like Dr. Seuss and Curious George. When she makes cards or posters, she writes like that. Her copywork is better, although spacing is her major struggle. When she does workbooks, her writing is legible although a bit large.


I wouldn't freak out about her handwriting, but a little copywork might help.

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I would consider Writing with Ease level 1 and The Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading by SWB. I think simple copywork would be better for her at this point IMHO as can be found in WWE. I would also check out Webster's Speller as can be found on the links below:)


I would also check out the following:




ElizabethB has on her phonicspage free phonics and spelling lessons as well as tons of info on reading, etc.


Don Potter's web site also has a wealth of info:


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