Jack loves writing capital letters. Why shouldn't he? They are made up of such simple shapes, many of them have similar movement patterns, and they all line up neatly next to each other instead of dipping down low or reaching up high like those pesky lowercase letters do. What's not to love?
But, when it comes to writing his name, I want him to learn to do it right, right from the start.
Once they're writing, kids write their names ALL the time, everywhere they can. With all of that repetition going on, you want to make sure they aren't getting into any bad habits. Because, as we all know, bad habits are hard to break. Not to mention that it's a real bummer to get to school and be told that you have to re-learn how to write your name. Kind of hard on an emerging writer's ego, if you know what I mean.
Enter the name slate -- an easy way to set kids up for name-writing success.
The name slate is a simple-yet-smart way to encourage children to practice writing their names. On the top of the slate is a permanent example of the child's name written with the first letter capitalized and the rest of the letters lowercase. Below is blank space to practice. It's that easy!
8 x 10 chalkboard (found at most craft stores for a few dollars)
white acrylic paint
piece of chalk (small, to encourage a strong, steady tripod grasp)
little scrap of cloth (for erasing)
The basic how-to:
Write your child's name (with proper capitalization and spacing) in chalk at the top of the slate. Paint over you chalk letters with white acrylic paint. Let dry thoroughly. When dry, show your child how they can write their name, wipe it away, and write it again as often as they like. Ask for an autograph (kids like that!).
I know it may seem as if I'm kind of wacky for little chalkboards but truly I am. They are just so forgiving. A sweep of the hand or a wipe with a cloth can make any mistake disappear as if by magic. And knowing that your marks are so easily erased seems to make all the pressure and perfectionism that comes along with learning to write disappear as well.
And, hey, when kids become name-writing pros, they can just chalk it up to experience!
Try it... (and let me know if you do!)