ALuv’s Progression as a Writer

2 years of age with bathtub crayons


3 1/2 years of age-First time writing “A”!

Almost 4 yrs old-practicing his name


4 1/2 years-writing his alphabet

This is what he decided to do during his “quiet time” one afternoon.  He was so proud of his hard work–and so was this reading mama!

Typical behaviors from young writers: (for more typical behaviors of spellers/writers in Stage 1, look under Literacy Development; Stage 1)

1. He is holding the pencil the “wrong” way.

In this early stage, fine motor skills have not yet fully developed.  Picking up small objects with tweezers/clothespins (even bugs outside!) or stringing beads on a lace are fun ways to strengthen the muscles.  Visit Carissa’s blog here for some great ideas I began doing with ALuv when he was 4 years old.  Another way that I got him to work on his fine motor was doing dot-to-dot and maze activities printed off the internet.  I don’t typically print worksheets, but he loves doing these, so it worked well for him.

Note: Large pieces of sidewalk chalk, thick crayons, and large markers can be a hindrance for a child who is ready to hold the writing utensil correctly.  Try using the smaller, thinner writing utensils.

2.  Prefers writing upper case letters over his lower case letters.

This is normal for many children because many of the upper case letters are easier to write than the lower case.  Even when kids can write both upper and lower case letters, they may still switch back and forth.  (I had students at the end of Kindergarten who were still using upper and lower case interchangeably.)  Once kids begin to learn the conventions and “rules” of writing, you can begin expecting and requiring them to follow those rules.  A great place to start with these conventions is helping your child to write his/her name with the upper case at the front, followed by the lower case letters.  Once she has it, hold her accountable to it.

*Did you know that the terms upper case and lower case come from the old days of the printing press?  The upper case letters were kept in the upper case because they weren’t used as much as the letters in the lower case.



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