That magical season has begun! It is my absolute favourite time of the year. The tree is decorated, the garlands are hung, those little eyes are sparkling, and imaginations are running wild.
I love to use the magic of the season to encourage my little ones in their learning. Sam this year is beginning to write. He is young still, but certainly a ‘reluctant’ writer. Getting him to write anything generally goes like this:
Mama: “That was such a great trip to the zoo! How about you write in your journal about your favourite animal?”
Sam: “Can I draw instead?”
Mama: “Sure – that would be great. Also add a few words so I am sure I know what you are drawing”
Sam: After finishing his picture he writes “Bar”
Mama: “Oh! Your favourite part was seeing the bear?”
Sam: “No but it was the easiest thing to spell”
Great. He was super into that activity.
But when we use the magic of the season amazing things can happen.
Sam has a little gnome village he has created, and one night in December Jerome (The same Jerome that stars in my Children’s book Clever’s New Trick) wrote Sam a little note. Sam was so excited! And get this – he could not wait to write him back.
At first he was worried he would not spell things properly, but since Jerome is of course a magic gnome he can easily read all of Sam’s notes – that’s the power of phonetic spelling. In fact, sounding words out is a perfect way to write to a gnome. It also helps that Jerome taught Kindergarten for quite a few years.
This has done wonders for his writing ability and his confidence in writing has soared.
He also practices reading Jerome’s note each morning. He also tries to write notes to the other gnomes just to check to see if they are magic. But they are not. One magic gnome note a night turns out to be plenty.
Last night my sister sent me some pictures of post-it notes my niece had plastered all over the hallway asking their Elf questions and telling him how much she loved him. Completely adorable (and so much writing!)
I find having little ones write to magical little creatures is fabulous for reluctant readers and writers. It takes a lot of the pressure off – magically.
I hope you had a great weekend and your December is off to a magical start friends. Thank you so much for reading.