When I started this blog 3 years ago, I intended it largely as a place to keep records of our work. In some ways this space has become my own personal album, although I do have paper albums as well. The significance of 3 years is that 3 years ago Kylee was just a baby and Caleb was the age that Kylee is now. Once I realized this I was easily able to go back and see exactly what lessons and topics we were covering and I came out of an afternoon of blog wandering with a whole list of ideas for Kylee!
One of the activities I was reminded of is Rainbow Names. Caleb was a little older when he started to show interest in learning to write his name, but it doesn't surprise me with two very literate older brothers that Kylee would want to learn a little sooner. We have been looking at her name in print for awhile now and she can pick it out from her brothers' names so I figured why not be a little more intentional about it.
In addition to teaching Kylee how to make a rainbow name as I did with Caleb, I also made her a name writing practice folder. I printed a blank rainbow name and laminated it inside of a file folder. She can write her name again and again with a dry erase marker and just wipe it away when she is done. You could do the same thing with a dotted name. She is young for this and I had fairly low expectations to be honest, but I am of the opinion that names make the best first writing experience. Clearly she was ready.
I think it is good to learn how to spell names correctly BEFORE getting too far into phonics and wanting to spell it the wrong way because it doesn't "sound like those letters". Caleb went through a phase where he spelled his name with an U instead of an E but he had already learned it correctly so eventually he just went back without too much trouble. I think learning it correctly early helps set the stage for sight words and rule breakers later. For the record is really just me and my opinionated teacher thinking here- there are plenty of purist Montessorians who would disagree with this so if you do it differently that's ok by me.
After I have introduced sandpaper letters (probably after Christmas- we're still doing some prep work), I will also make Kylee a sandpaper name from sandpaper and card stock. I did that for the boys and they really enjoyed making crayon rubbings of their names and tracing them with their fingers. Not introducing my entire name-writing/name-awareness bag of tricks right away will help keep the topic fresh and interesting!
Do you do anything special to learn to help your child learn to write their name?