One of the phenomena of the technology age is that email and texting have replaced letter writing for many teens and adults. While these methods of communication are convenient and save time, there still is a certain delight in finding a “real” letter in the mailbox. Writing letters is becoming a lost art as well a lost opportunity for children, and is a skill that, even in tomorrow’s world, is still beneficial to master.
For example, when I receive a job application, I pay careful attention to the cover letter, for it can reveal as much or more about the person than the resume or application.
Why, you may be wondering, is this topic worthy of time and attention? It is because I hope to encourage parents to engage your preschool-aged children in writing letters, not just because of the social niceties such as writing thank you notes, though these are important.
Writing letters is a way for young children to further develop their language and literacy skills and to organize their thoughts. It is also a wonderful way for them to surprise their grandparents, other relatives and/or friends.
In the Experiential School at Shorecrest, children can try out letter-writing and try on the career of class postmaster!
How Letter Writing Builds Skills
- If you sit with your child and have him/her dictate a message to you, you can use the opportunity to point out letters in the words, or children can tell you what letter they hear at the start of some words.
- It can also teach letter and sentence form as well as introduce simple punctuation. All of these echo and help reinforce what preschool children are doing in the classroom at Shorecrest.
- Adding a drawing to a letter is another chance to develop their representational and meaningful art skills. Regardless of what is in the letters, writing them will be a learning experience.
- It will also bring delight to the recipients, and even more so to the children if they get letters back in response!
When was the last time you wrote a real hard-copy letter? I urge you to give it a try yourself - with or without your preschool-aged child - and see if it brings you some small joy!