Is copying words in worksheets not engaging enough for your beginning writer? Try these fun and free printable writing worksheets – they prompt children to write while making little books about themselves!
Learning to read and write is the beginning of a new epoch, and right now I am watching my five-year-old son lingering on the very threshold of it. One of these days, all the pieces will fall together, and we will have a young reader in our house, but for now, all we can do is keep practising with the skills he has already got. And since it’s a rather strong-willed child we’re talking about, learning had better be fun! If the exercise involves a game or an art project, he can stick with it for a long time and learn some amazing things, but if not, learning turns into a struggle, which rather defies the very core of our homeschooling intentions.
Take writing, for instance. Make him do worksheets that require repeating a letter or a word is a struggle. He will complain, and I will feel like I am killing his natural curiosity and love for learning. There is no need to fight against it – this is a kid who loves making his own books from folded sheets of paper. After he has done illustrations, he asks me to write some sentences for him on a different piece of paper, and then he carefully copies them into his handmade book.
Well, if he likes making books, so be it!
About My Book of Choices
This is a book for beginner writers. On every page, children are prompted to make a choice between two things. What do they prefer: cats or dogs? cake or ice-cream? The choices given are simple, reflecting both the interests of this particular age group and their ability to read. Many of the cards, especially the ones with longer words, also have pictures that will help children to understand the meanings. Other cards are deliberately left without pictures though, so that the children can practice reading.
This main goal of this activity is to engage beginning writers and give them confidence to write. Each card has the lines that are recommended for practicing handwriting and the usual handwritten forms of the letters. The children can see the word right in front of them, but the aim of the activity isn’t simply to copy it. They ponder over the question and write their answer down, creating the book about themselves at this particular moment in time. For that reason, there is a page in the beginning where they can write their name and their age. You can consider it a mini-journal for beginning writers. The writing efforts are minimal, but meaningful.
Writing In Action
You can punch a hole in the corner of each page, then put the book together with a keychain ring or a bookbinding ring, then write in it. Alternatively, you can write on each little sheet individually and then turn them into a book.
Having good writing tools is very important for beginner writers! It was good fortune that we discovered these Ticonderoga pencils right at the beginning of our writing journey. Big, round, and smooth – they’re easy for beginning writers to grip and work with. They feature a soft core, but they are hard to break! And since my son always likes to drag a sketchbook or a notebook along on all kinds of expeditions, we’ve started adding these solid Ticonderoga pencils to his adventure backpack as well.
With our little book and pencils, we can do our learning on the go!