Preparing your Pre-Schooler- Bilingual Writing

Doggy Boy at a cupcake decoration birthday party

Last month I posted about Oral Preparations for my eldest (Monkey Boy). This month my focus is more on my middle child(Doggy Boy).

My little boy is 4 and in Kindergarten One this year. He is very keen in academic learning but one thing he has been rather resistant to is writing. He is okay  with learning new words in both English and Mandarin but when it comes to writing he will drag his feet and find all excuses just to get away from doing it.

In approximately 1.5 years  time he will be entering elementary school like his elder brother and I will have to get him accustomed to writing and doing other written exercises.  I know at this age boys have rather limited attention span and that they are rather more focus on fun and play then academics.

To get him sufficiently prepared for school we have started on some simple writing exercises at home during the week.

Practice books for Doggy Boy

I chose these books for him as they seem manageable with him only needing to sit down for a maximum of 5-10 minutes to complete an exercise. We do a page a day and alternate between English and Chinese.  As Chinese writing is different from writing in English I want him to get accustomed to writing the different strokes that make up a Chinese character. I got him a few Character tracing books so that he learns how to write the different characters using the proper sequences in strokes.

It is important for him to write the strokes properly as if a certain stroke is too long or too short or written in the wrong direction you may end up with a different character ( word) then you originally want to write.  It is the same case as in English where by a poorly written “h” can be mistaken for a “n” if the line is not written long enough.

Here are some photos of his written work.

English Exercises which he has done
Chinese Writing Exercises
Chinese Writing book with Tracing

Since starting Doggy Boy on these books his behaviour towards writing has improved a lot. He initially started out bawling and very reluctant to even write a single alphabet/character and could easily take up to an hour just to finish a page as he would sneak off to play or be doodling around when I took my eyes off him to attend to his siblings. Now he takes about 5 minutes and would consciously sit down to complete the page.

I will be moving on to getting him to do simple comprehension activities and starting him on basic essay writing once he completes this series of books.

How do you get your child started on writing?