Monthly Archives: July 2012

Writing is fun! (even when you’re only 4)

Jude is now four and a half so has been doing handwriting practise every day since Easter when I finished work and started home-schooling full time. Being a teacher I feel strongly about something I mentioned in an earlier post on writing – how important it is that children are taught correct letter formation from the outset. Cana, at six, has been writing in joined handwriting for some time and Jude began to learn joins as soon as he knew how to form each letter of the alphabet. Cana, as a perfectionist, enjoyed learning ‘grown-up’ writing and would take her time making it just right. She liked writing in her ‘Big Girl,’ lined book so that was an incentive for her.

Jude is learning to spell the first 45 high-frequency words. Each one takes him about a week to learn and he practises writing it in joined handwriting most days. Because he is not a perfectionist, and does not want to be grown up (I am fairly sure he would still have me dressing him and feeding him if he could) , I have to think of ways to make handwriting practise fun. He only has to write his spelling for the day three times so does this in various ways: he has a ‘Big Boy’ book; he writes on the whiteboard with pen; he uses chalks on the black board; he writes in shaving foam and he writes on the Aquadraw.

writing on the whiteboard

writing on the Aquadraw

writing in shaving foam

Jude is gaining in confidence with his writing and has started writing letters to various people during his play time. We had a bit of a discussion about the role of the post-man as Jude had somehow deified him into some sort of God-like being who showered us with gifts. He thought, as the postman brought us so many presents (due to my internet shopping habits), that he could write a letter with his requests for toys in it and posting the letter would ensure that he would get it. He is extremely argumentative at the moment so I’m still not sure he fully believed my explanation that I order the presents we get and it’s the postman’s job to just bring it. When I thought about it, I am given to saying things like, “Oh, look what the postman’s brought us!” Anyway, here is a sample of his most recent ’emergent writing’ It is a party invitation and it says: Please come to my party and my party is in Africa will you come to my party Nadia and Kaelen.

Party invitation, independent writing


Our visit to West Midlands Safari Park by Cana, Jude and Mummy

Daddy took a picture of the cammel’s  bottom,  and Daddy  said its  funny how they bend their  knees because they sort of bend up in the air  behind them.(Cana)

The camos wo sdadig stil like stachoos.(Jude)

Mae and daddy  looking  at the elephants, Mae was saying “esants” (Cana)

We sor elfts the wos ilechic wiys so the elfnf codt get posd. (We saw the elephants there was electric wires so the elephants couldn’t get past – Jude)

Me feeding the Addax, when I  was feeding the Addax it felt all nibbly and it made me pull my hand back.(Cana)

Wen we saw the adacx I wos a tiny bit  sgerd. (Jude)

When Jude saw this picture he said,“Woah, that bijarf is really big – it look s bigger than a monster!” (Mummy)

When the giraffe licked Daddy he said “Urrh, my entire hand has been licked”(Cana)

I saw a ugly oschich at the sfrye prk.(Jude)

When we went to the safari park we saw an ostrich and it did a wee and a poo.(Cana)

We went on a pingoo rid.(Jude)

Despite all the exotic animals the children were still very impressed with seeing a Pingu ride.(Mummy)

We saw pengwins.(Jude)

The penguins had webbed feet so they could swim very well.(Cana)

The sea lion jumped up to a ball that was very high.(Cana)

The see liuns wuu very clevu.(Jude)

Jude said, “I didn’t like the snake because I saw that it didn’t have eyes or a nose or a mouth.” Cana said, “I didn’t like the snakes either. I was interested  because they shedded their skin but I didn’t like that snake’s colour.”(Mummy)

We saw the aligator and the crocodile and the crocodile was playing with a light. (Cana)

We were looking at the fish. (Cana)

We talked about why it was dark in that room, because not much sun can come down through all the trees in the rainforest.(Mummy)

Jude said he liked the alligator and the crocodile best because “they were standing still and there was glass in front of them”! The day after our visit the children drew a picture of their favourite animal and Jude drew a crocodile. (Mummy)

Yay, a smile at long last from Jude who had been asking to go on the train ever since we got there. I asked him to write a sentence about being on the train but unfortunately he wrote…

We went  on the tran and I wos a bit nuvus. (Jude)

He clarified that he was only nervous because we had to go past some more animals, he did actually like being on the train, expecially as it was red. Poor Jude did not really enjoy our Safari Park trip. We’ll try again next year.

Addax by Cana

Crocodile by Jude