Writing Practice and Counting

As I review what still needs to be done in Emily’s Kindergarten year, and as we head down the home stretch – just three more months to the year – I’ve been focusing on two things on a nearly daily basis.

Writing Practice

Somehow the daily practice of writing had fallen by the wayside. Once I realized it, it became a priority, Emily needed to learn how to write all of her letters, and write them well. Right about that time Dianne Flynn Keith with Clickschooling came through in one of her emails, directing me to a great writing practice website that has become my ‘go to’ source for writing practice sheets.

What I like about this site the most is the ability to choose what Emily has to practice writing. We printed out a stack of practice sheets for her full name – Emily Rose Shuck – and then got creative.

The trouble with trolls

No farting allowed!

Caillou is fun to watch

and plenty more…

Basically Emily gets to call the shots. “What do you want to practice writing today, Emily?” I ask her. And she gets to decide.

At first it was a bit of a battle. The reason? She didn’t feel competent. This changed after I said, “Wow, Emily! You worked really hard on this! And I can tell that in the later letters, down here, that they are written more clearly than above. You are improving and doing better each time you write the letters!”

She straightened a little, her chest puffed out a bit, and she smiled proudly. “I tried real hard, Mama!”

Daily practice…her skills will improve with daily practice. And it won’t hurt her basic reading skills either…

Number Recognition and Counting Skills

I hate making comparisons to other kids – it either leaves us smugly superior or nervously defensive of our children – but sometimes comparisons are inevitable. A few months ago I was talking with a mother of a playmate of Emily’s. A smart little girl this one is, and eight months younger than Emily. I was dismayed to realize that Emily’s playmate not only read better than her, but was also counting with regularity up to 100.

At the time Emily was up to the number 13. Anything beyond was a crap shoot. Soon, she was counting to twenty with only a few hitches, those ‘teens can be a bugger. And then I bought…1-100 Dot-to-Dots“>Dot to Dot 1 to 100.

I almost completely and totally screwed it up. The first dot-to-dot she did I was hanging over her, bossing and haranguing, completely in PMS mode and she almost gave up. I apologized later to her, saying, “I’m really sorry, Emily. I was totally bossy and you were doing great. I should have just let you do the dot-to-dot because you were doing amazing.”

This apparently worked because the next day she opened the book again and as I typed away on my computer I listened to her counting. When she hit the 19 mark I held my breath through the silence, “nineteen…twenty, twenty-one…” and listened to her go all the way to 100.

She jumped up from her seat, “Mama! I did it, I did it! I counted to 100!” I hugged her and told her how fabulous she was, how hard she must have concentrated to do that.

She ran out of the room, jazzed, practically floating down the hall. “Daddy! I counted to 100 ALL by myself! Mama didn’t help me at all!!!!” and then returned a few minutes later, excitedly announcing, “Okay, I’ve got to do the dot-to-dots EVERY DAY, TWICE a day!”

Three months ago…only up to 13.

Now? I won’t say she recognizes every one of the numbers from 1 to 100 yet, but she’s getting there. And the 1-100 Dot-to-Dots“>Dot to Dot 1 to 100is definitely helping!

Ready for the next level of counting? Try this one on for size…

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