One of the first words most children write is their name. Some names are quick to learn, and others take some practice. Since most names are not phonetic, this is one area where a bit of memorization is necessary, even from a young age. When I taught preschool I did several things to help children learn to write their names.
- Got really good at dotting letters by hand so that children could always write their own names on the back of art work.
- Used writing strips (sentence strips) to dot their names and then laminated so they could practice with a dry erase marker over and over again.
- At the beginning of each school year I would make a worksheet for each child with their name dotted several times and then I would copy 10-15/student to have on hand for individual practice. I would also send 1-2 copies home with the parent at fall conferencesfor them to work on with their child.
All of these methods work equally as well at home. Recently, however, I've taken to the idea of rainbow letters (from a Montessori friend's album) and made worksheets for Caleb to make a rainbow name.
The thing I like about this method is that one piece of paper provides 10, 20, or even more opportunities to practice without creating extra waste. Not to mention they look really neat!
Make A Rainbow Name Worksheet Using Microsoft Word
- Open a new blank document and align the page horizontally (If you don't know how to do this, it is under File>Page Settings)
- Type your child's name
- Highlight the text and click the WordArt button
- Choose the bubble/block letters option
- In the edit window, you should have the option to change fonts. For print, I recommend Comic Sans or Chalkboard because they use a ball & stick a. For cursive, I recommend Brush Script or Lucida Handwriting. You may use any font that looks the most like the handwriting style you are teaching.
- Click Ok to close the WordArt Editing window.
- Click on your child's name and resize to fit the page.
- Print and copy as desired
You can repeat the same thing with other special words a child is learning to write or with individual letters they are struggling with.
To use the rainbow technique, have the child write inside the bubble letters in a single stroke. Write the entire name with one color and then repeat with the next color. They should not color the letters in.
I always love hearing new ideas! What have you done to teach your child to write his/her name? Is name writing something that came easily to your child or something that they struggled with?