In preschool, children are exposed to various fine motor exercises to be able to develop finger dexterity and grip a pen firmly with a steady hand. Then they are taught trace lines, shapes, the alphabet, their name and eventually copy words and phrases etc. Later on when they advance to the preparatory level or early grades, they write sentences and phrases. This is the typical progress. However, by the time children are supposedly old enough to write sentences, they have difficulty in composing and actually write something. They lack writing fluency.
Parents and teachers do not have to wait for the child to master the correct strokes of the letters and spelling before encouraging them to be little authors.
Writing helps children develop phonemic awareness (letter sounds). And being exposed to books, stories and texts aids children to write about something.
Don't worry if the spelling is incorrect or used what educators call invented spelling.
Why should teachers and parents encourage developing readers and writers to use invented spelling?
1. Invented spelling may strengthen children's understanding of sound-symbol relationships. Adams (1991) suggests that the use of invented spelling may encourage children to develop a strong sense of the relationship between spoken and written words. When they are encouraged to "spell words they way the sound," children may develop an independent, intrinsic interest in the text in their environment.
2. Invented spelling may foster writing fluency.In a study comparing children who were taught using traditional spelling instruction and children who were encouraged to use invented spelling, Clarke (1989) found that children who used invented spellings wrote longer stories and demonstrated higher skill at word recognition. It is possible that the children focused more on their ideas, which compelled them to write freely and creatively.
Doing pretend play sequences from books, not only aid children process what the story is about, but puts them in the first person position and elaborate about their experience
The oral language skills developed through dramatics have been found by some scholars to facilitate student’s writing skills (Heathcote, 1981; Wagner, 1985).
This should not come as a surprise. When we think of writing, we assume it's text like this. Yet years ago, people used to write with images (e.g. cavemen drawings and heiroglyphics). The early sign of writing too is in images --- in scribbles. To young kids, a squiggly line is more than just a squiggly line! They often tell stories.