Teaching Tuesdays: Printing

Since I am having requests, and appreciation for my teaching posts, I am going to continue this series. Last week I wrote about pre-reading, this week: Printing letters.
So, how do you teach a skill that you don’t even have to think about how to do?

  1. Wait until your child is ready. 
  2. The most important thing for children learning anything is repetition  It may be boring, but the more they do it, the more it sticks.
  3. Try to make it fun. If your child likes animals, have them trace a letter, and then colour, draw or paste animals on the page that start with that letter. 
  4. Give them ownership of their work. Give them a binder and let them decorate it to keep their papers in, or a file in the filing cabinet. If they own it, they will want to succeed.
  5. Praise them for their hard work. Each child needs to know they are doing a good job. Give them rewards like stickers for doing well and trying hard
  6. Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, remember? 
  7. Give constructive criticism. Don’t get discouraged or be negative, but don’t settle either. Bad habits formed now will last and be much harder to break later. Trust me. I know this from experience! 

Ok, so now the teaching. There are so many options that each work well on their own or combined. I like to mix it up, and keep things fun!

Copy Work 
You can buy curriculum, or even just buy some from the dollar store near you! We bought some Pre-School books for Little A, and I supplemented that with some books from Dollar Tree.
There are lots of free printable sheets on-line at Starfall.com This is how I taught my oldest 2 their printing. Worked great for us! I usually search for additional pictures of things that interest the kids to keep their attention.

Most copy work has children trace the letters once or twice before they draw their own letters. There are many other tracing ideas you can do your self to mix it up.

  • Draw in the sand or mud and have your child trace your letters with a stick, or on a foggy window.
  • Tablets are great resources for teaching children to print. There are countless free and paid apps for this!
  • Draw in the air and have your child copy you, or play guessing games

Rhymes, Stories and Songs
Kids remember silly songs and rhymes so much better than they do instructions and rules. When we teach our kids to write their names, we give them a way to remember. Check out the letter formation poems at Little Giraffes These are cute little poems that make it easy to describe how to draw a letter. Here is the A for example:
A – Pull down twice from the point to the top. Add a seat to view the apple crop.

a – First make a round apple to eat, then a slide for an ant when he’s finished his treat!

Each poem is unique to the letter and touches on the phonetics. Bonus!
My husband was trying to teach Little A how to write the letter N. He was ready to scream because he couldn’t describe it. After going through the N poem once, Little A got it! 

Nothing worth doing is easy, so keep with it!


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  3. I love all these tips. Makes me wish I had a little one again!

  4. Thanks! I’m not a homeschooler but my son is not in preschool right now so we’ve been doing school time at home. It’s so much fun watching him learn.

  5. I am not a home schooler but these are great tips for parents who are.

  6. These are GREAT suggestions! We love Starfall. I’ve never heard of the Little Giraffes site, but I’m going to go check it out now. I also love the idea of giving them a binder or filing cabinet for themselves – my son may be motivated by that. Thanks!

  7. Good tips. I love when kids are creative and learning.

  8. Great ideas! I hope you don’t mean the kiddos are bored while learning to write! I have my stuff out in a writing center where my littles can practice when it is interesting to them :)

  9. thanks for the grfeat tips i love this post i think the best age to start it is aroun 3 years old

  10. I don’t have kids yet, but I’m definitely bookmarking this in my Kids folder for reference! Thanks for the tips!
    Meg recently posted..FREE Gifts And Coupons Just For Moms-To-Be Or New MomsMy Profile

  11. These are some great tips. I have a little one that is resistant to trying new things such as writing, so this is definitely inspirational for me.
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