The importance of reading to children on a daily basis is widely understood. Less well appreciated is that small amounts of structured daily time at home devoted to developing number sense ("numeracy") and writing skills can have similarly profound positive effects and confer equally powerful academic advantages on children.
As soon as a child shows interest in scribbling, Daily Writing Time can be inaugurated as Daily Drawing Time. Learning to correctly grip crayons, pencils, and pens (like holding a Chop Stick) is the first order of business.
Next is the creation of basic shapes as part of the child's improvised artistic creations: dots, straight lines, crosses, angles, corners, boxes, triangles, circles, hooks, human figures, etc.
Once basic shapes are mastered, learning to read and write ABC's comes next. Following this, children can be encouraged to write and illustrate short stories containing one to several sentences (parents can model the fun of authorship by creating and reading to their son or daughter short, simple, hand-illustrated books featuring that child in the starring role).
Finally, learning to use the computer keyboard to speed the writing process and compose multi-paragraph essays occupies Daily Writing Time.
"But won't my child learn all this in school?"
Yes, of course.
Nevertheless, the head start you provide by teaching your child very basic academic skills at an early age, well ahead of time, will promote success, engender confidence, and develop powerful associations within your child's mind between academic learning and close, happy times with Mom and Dad.
The benefits of regular academic play time at home (always emphasizing fun and commensurate with a child's natural inclinations and abilities) are many and profound, and the value of engaging, daily learning time with Tutor Mom or Dad is inestimable.
Below are helpful resources to enhance Daily Writing Time:
Reusable Dry Erase Pockets and Educational Templates
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