When Kindergartners Are Ready to Write

Most kindergartners are excited about reading and writing because their literacy skills are growing stronger by the day. This doesn’t mean every child is reading word for word or writing without spelling mistakes. It means your child’s interest level is higher, he’s making a greater effort to express his thoughts with writing, and he’s interested in using words and writing around him (on signs, for example) to learn about the world.

The bigger picture

Reading at this stage includes the use of color, size, shape and context to understand everything from a stop sign to a magazine cover. With a book, kindergartners use the illustrations and even the shape or configuration of the text on the page to comprehend the story. Even if he’s reciting it from memory or retelling it in his own words, it’s still a precious time of reading exploration. Tell your child when you notice what he’s doing by saying, “You’re reading!” This helps him start to see himself as a reader.

It’s also very important to encourage your child to write. Kindergartners are beginning to see this activity not just as an exercise she does in class, but as a fun and imaginative means of communication.

Kindergartners usually experiment with different ways of writing. Your child might scribble many lines of “writing” that you don’t comprehend, but that he can read aloud with great understanding and expression. It is also common for kindergartners to flip letters around at this stage, so don’t worry if some reversals show up. The goal here is for your child to see how to use this skill in many forms. Lists, stories, signs and notes are common ways your child will delight in writing. Be patient; the neater letters will come soon enough. Right now, celebrate your child’s understanding that writing is an exciting way to connect with others.

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