Monday, 24 October 2011

Letter Writing

This is my latest ruse in motivating my reluctant writer to write! She has long coveted my note cards and I'm not sure why I didn't think about it before to be honest! Anyhow she thought that going to town to choose note cards and envelopes was lots of fun - writing in them? Not so fun!!!! We battled over it and I kept my patience and refused to let her give up and she wrote a letter. It was messy, begrudgingly written but it was a start and it showed her that she COULD do it!
Meanwhile on the other side of the table, her younger sister who loves to write annoyingly penned a card without one huff or puff and rather nice handwriting for a very little girl! I switch between telling correct spellings of words and saying 'yes that's it' when they spell words for themselves. If they have no idea how to start it and we work it out together then I go for the correct spelling. If they say 'how do you spell house mummy? h - a - s ?' then I smile and say 'yes, well done, go for it'. Spelling can wait, for now I am interested in them building up the confidence to write by themselves and tackle words they don't know. I think that there can be nothing so disheartening as someone constantly saying 'no - that's wrong' or 'not like that, like this'.

In the spirit of not nagging about every little detail I have let go my foible about how Eve holds her pencil. It drives me crackers but beyond the odd gentle reminder about turning her paper to make it easier to write on, I think she has to find her own way with it now. I have decided to let it go because she is so reluctant to write anything I really want to make it as positive and relaxed as possible when she is writing! I made her a prompt sheet that you can see her referring to above to remind her of a few bits of 'letter etiquette' to get her started and a visual reminder of capital letters, gaps between words and punctuation marks!

We spent the following week away in Wales at Dewi's parent's house and there we wrote postcards to family and friends instead. By midweek Eve was much more relaxed and confident about the process with not a huff or a puff in sight! She really creates beautiful expressive sentences and chooses lovely exciting words. Next steps? Continuing to build her confidence and stamina in writing before introducing some other aspects of writing such as a wider breadth of descriptive words.

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