My son, Alex, struggled with his handwriting during his first years of school and I was at a loss of how I could help or what I could do. It was really taking a toll on his self-confidence and delayed his learning abilities and I too felt frustrated not knowing how to help. I searched for something different but they were all the similar writing sheet product that did not help my son. He needed a visual guide. So, I created something to help him myself…Channie’s was born!

I saw changes in him within just a few short months. Not only did his handwriting dramatically change, his attitude toward writing changed significantly. Now he is proud of his neat handwriting!

Alex’s teacher asked me how he was changing so quickly and told me that a lot of young kids could benefit from the sheets I was creating for Alex. It is my goal to provide others with the same success and tools that I provided for him.

Testimonials

How to Teach Early Math Skills

Teaching math skills to children can be fun and effective with the right approach. Here are some strategies and activities to help you get started:

Start with basic concepts like counting and number recognition

 Counting:

– Counting Objects: Count anything and everything! I use everyday objects like toys or snacks to practice counting. You can count the number of bananas in a bunch or the number of toy cars your child is playing with.

– Songs and Rhymes: Incorporate counting songs and rhymes to make learning numbers fun and to help children remember. Great examples are songs like “Five Little Ducks” or “Five Little Speckled Frogs.”

Number Recognition:

– Flashcards: Number flashcards can help children recognize and name numbers.

 

– Number Tracing: Provide workbooks that allow children to trace numbers. This helps teach both recognition and writing skills.

 Use Visual Aids and Manipulatives

   -Blocks and Counters: Use building blocks, counters, or beads for hands-on learning about counting, addition, and subtraction.

 

   – Shapes and Patterns: Use shape sorters, pattern blocks, and puzzles to teach geometry and pattern recognition.

Introduce New Concepts Gradually

Introducing new math concepts gradually requires a structured and incremental approach to ensure understanding and retention.

   – Addition and Subtraction: Use physical objects like blocks or objects around the house to demonstrate simple addition and subtraction. For example, “If we have three blocks and we add three more, how many do we have in total?”

   – Multiplication and Division: Start with repeated addition for multiplication and sharing objects for division.

Incorporate Math into Daily Activities

   – Cooking: Use cooking to teach measurements and fractions. Let children measure ingredients.

   – Shopping: Involve children in shopping by asking them to count items, look at prices, or handle money.

   – Time: Teach them to read clocks and understand concepts of time.

Introduce Mathematical Vocabulary

   – Terms: Use terms like more, less, equal, add, subtract, and explain their meanings with examples.

 

   – Daily Conversations: Incorporate math vocabulary into daily conversations to make it a natural part of their language.

Relate Math to Real-Life Situations

   – Money: Teach about coins and bills, how to make change, and the concept of saving and spending.

   – Nature: Use nature walks to count leaves, compare heights of trees, or identify patterns in flowers and plants.

Concepts to Introduce by Age Group

– Toddlers (1-3 years): Focus on basic counting, shapes, and simple pattern recognition.

– Preschoolers (3-5 years): Introduce counting beyond ten, basic addition and subtraction, simple shapes, and comparing sizes.

– Early Elementary (5-7 years): Teach addition and subtraction, basic measurement, time, money, and simple fractions.

 

– Later Elementary (7-10 years): Introduce multiplication, division, more complex fractions, geometry, and basic data interpretation.

Consistency and Patience

Be consistent. Repeated practice and patience are crucial. Revisit concepts regularly and make math a fun and integral part of everyday life.

How to Strengthen Reading and Writing Skills

Reading and writing go hand in hand! You can support your child using the science of reading principles that will strengthen both their reading and writing skills. Here are some ideas to help your child become a better reader and writer!

Letter Formation

 

Teach children to form letters correctly. Provide lots of practice using a variety of activities. When writing the letters, say the letter’s name and talk about the sounds the letter makes. Give examples of words that start with the letters for beginning sound practice. 

Multisensory Approach

 

Incorporate multisensory activities that involve both reading and writing. For example, tracing letters while simultaneously saying the letter sound or blending sounds to form words can reinforce phonemic awareness, a crucial skill for reading. 

Explicit Instruction

Explicit instruction breaks down concepts into small and manageable steps that are meaningful. This helps ensure the learner understands concepts and promotes skill acquisition. Provide explicit instruction in letter-sound correspondence and phonics rules alongside handwriting practice. Explicit teaching methods are effective in helping children understand the relationship between letters and sounds, which is fundamental for reading. 

Provide Feedback

 

Provide constructive feedback and correction during handwriting activities to ensure proper letter formation and spelling. Addressing errors promptly helps reinforce correct letter formation.

Work on Handwriting and Reading Together

 

Work on handwriting activities along with reading activities. For example, when introducing new phonics concepts or sight words, have children write them by hand before reading them in text.

Modeling

 

Model proper handwriting techniques and letter formation for children to emulate. Demonstrate the correct strokes and formations while providing verbal explanations to reinforce learning.

Every child is unique.

 

Adapt handwriting instruction to individual student needs, providing additional support or challenges as necessary. Some students may require more practice with basic letter formation, while others may benefit from advanced handwriting skills.

Consistency and Practice

 

Encourage the consistent practice of handwriting alongside reading activities. Regular practice reinforces skills and improves fluency in both reading and writing.

School friends

Do you need help learning how to incorporate handwriting into your reading routine for your child? Channie’s offers online tutoring too! We can help you and your child make the most of their education. We help students in general and special education.

Individual online class Pre-K to 2nd Grade: https://channies.com/product/online-class-handwriting-help-2/

Individual online class 3rd to 5th Grade: https://channies.com/product/online-class-handwriting-help/

How Handwriting Supports The Science of Reading

What is the Science of Reading (SoR)?

“The Science of Reading (SoR) is a comprehensive body of research that encompasses years of scientific knowledge, spans across many languages, and shares the contributions of experts from relevant disciplines such as education, special education, literacy, psychology, neurology, and more… From this research, we can identify an evidence-based best practice approach for teaching foundational literacy skills called Structured Literacy.”

-IMSE Journal

5 Essential Components

The SoR identifies five essential components of Structured Literacy. These are:

        Phonemic Awareness

        Phonics

        Fluency

        Vocabulary

        Comprehension

Handwriting and The Science of Reading

“Writing is intrinsically important for all students to learn—after all, it is the primary way beyond speech that humans communicate. But more than that, research suggests that teaching students to write in an integrated fashion with reading is not only efficient, it’s effective.”

“Students need support in their writing,” said Dana Robertson, an associate professor of reading and literacy education at the school of education at Virginia Tech who also studies how instructional change takes root in schools. “They need to be taught explicitly the skills and strategies of writing and they need to see the connections of reading, writing, and knowledge development.”

- Stephen Sawchuk — January 17, 2023  Education Week Special Report How Does Writing Fit Into the ‘Science of Reading’?

How Channie’s Handwriting Workbooks Supports The Science of Reading Instruction.

Incorporating handwriting instruction into reading instruction aligns with the principles of the science of reading and supports children during the development of foundational literacy skills. Teachers and homeschool parents can incorporate handwriting activities into all reading lessons, such as lessons with phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency instruction, and reading comprehension. Here are just a few ways, Channie’s can reinforce reading instruction. 

Phonemic Awareness is the ability to recognize phonemes. Phonemes are the smallest units of sound in a word. While children are learning to manipulate sounds orally, they can also practice writing them.  

 

Phonics involves matching sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. Teaching students to blend the sounds of letters helps them decode (the process of translating printed words into speech). To strengthen instruction, handwriting or encoding (the process of translating spoken words into printed words) should also be taught.

Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression. Reading and writing go hand in hand. While children are learning to read words, they can also be learning how to write them as well. When children move on to sentence writing, teaching them sentence structure through writing will lay a solid foundation to different writing types, such as narrative, expository, persuasive, etc. Children also learn how different punctuation indicates different emphasis to sentences.

Vocabulary is important for language development. Children need to learn vocabulary to improve language and literacy skills. Building vocabulary helps a child communicate more effectively, however speech is only one form of expressive communication. We also communicate through writing, therefore teaching children handwriting is critical. Younger children learn vocabulary by associating words with pictures too. They can write the words and learn to draw the picture for the word.

Comprehension is the goal of reading. Comprehension is understanding of what is being read. When students can write about what they have learned, their reading comprehension improves. This is another reason handwriting is a crucial skill to teach. Younger children can also build comprehension by connecting words with pictures.

Do you need help learning how to incorporate handwriting into your reading routine for your child? Channie’s offers online tutoring too! We can help you and your child make the most of their education. We help students in general and special education.

Individual online class Pre-K to 2nd Grade: https://channies.com/product/online-class-handwriting-help-2/

Individual online class 3rd to 5th Grade: https://channies.com/product/online-class-handwriting-help/

Using Flashcards to Teach Children

Engaging Visuals

Flashcards are a wonderful way to teach. They provide a visual way to of learning for people of all ages. Visual learning is a style that appeals to many people. Flashcards can include bright and colorful illustrations to capture the learner’s attention and motivate them to want to learn.

Perfect For Home or School

Flashcards are a handy tool to have and can be useful at every age. They are a great way to present, practice, and review vocabulary and concepts. When students become familiar with the activities used in class, they can review concepts.

Flash cards are perfect for teaching students to work independently or for early finishers. Teachers can put flashcards in task boxes during center rotations or small groups too! Flashcards are also a great way for students to practice what they are working on at home, rather than with worksheets.

Perfect For Special Education

Flashcards focus on one concept at a time so they are not overwhelming for students. They are also a great way to practice IEP (individualized education plan) goals. Teachers can set up individual IEP bins for their students with flashcards like Channie’s for students to work on their goals. These flashcards are a convenient way to work on skills like letters, numbers, reading, handwriting, and math to help students reach their full potential.

Perfect for on-the-go

I now homeschool my 3 children who have autism and ADHD. We like to take our flash cards with us to restaurants so we can practice our academics while we wait for our food. It is a wonderful way to wait for our meal without screen time.

5 Tips For Using Flashcards With Your Child

  1. Practice regularly- Have child work on flash cards daily to reinforce learning and memory.
  2. Review flashcards that have been previously learned to build memory.
  3. Increase difficulty, gradually- once the child masters content, introduce more difficult concepts to keep learning challenging.
  4. Encouragement- praise and encourage your child for doing a great job to increase motivation.
  5. Incorporate all the senses- pair the visuals of flashcards with auditory input and tactile input to stimulate the senses and improve learning. Dry-erase flashcards that have children practice writing a word or solving a problem are great for this.

Just Some of The Channie’s Flashcards I Love

Alphabet and Number Flashcards-
Simple and colorful flashcards support the building blocks of learning with pictures for each letter and pictures to correspond to each number.

Pre-K Activity Flashcards

Playful and engaging flashcards that teach foundational skills children need for kindergarten.

Sight Words

Kids can learn to read and write sight words using bright flashcards that let them trace and practice their words. 

Math

Help children how to solve math problems and visually line problems up correctly. These help children to become more accurate at math while working on handwriting.

Cursive

The blocks make children visually aware of spacing when writing and allow for self-correction if they write outside the box.

These are just some of the ways Channie’s can help your child with handwriting or math. Take a look at our online classes that offer individualized teaching to help your child succeed.

ONLINE CLASSES- Math Help Grades Pre-K to 1st

ONLINE CLASSES- Handwriting Help Grades 3-5th

 

 

Development of Handwriting Skills

Writing involves many foundational skills.  Like most skills, writing is a process for children to learn. Before a child can write letters, they write lines. Before writing lines, they will scribble. Visual attention is an important foundational skill that children need to write. Writing also requires hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Children also need to understand the concept that we use a writing instrument to make deliberate marks and shapes on paper versus random scribbling. EVERY child develops at a different rate. Here are some writing milestones to keep in mind.  

Ages 2-3 years old

Can imitate horizontal lines (2 1/2 years)

Begins to imitate circle shape (2 1/2 years)

Can copy a vertical line (3 years)

Ages 3-4 years old

Can cut paper in half. (3 years)

Can Copy prewriting lines of vertical, horizontal, and circle shapes. (3 years)

Begins to imitate a cross shape. (3 1/2 years)

Ages 4-5  years old

Can draw a person with at least 3 different body parts.  (4 years)

Can copy color and shape patterns with blocks or beads. (4 1/2 years)

Can copy a cross shape. (4 1/2 years)

Begins to imitate a square shape and left/right diagonal lines. (5 years)

Can connect a series of dots spaced 1/2 inch apart to make a simple drawing. (5 years)

Can cut a large circle with scissors. (5 years)

Can cut a square shape with scissors. (5 years)

5-6 years

Begins to imitate an X and triangle shape (5 years)

Can draw a person with 6 or more body parts. (5 ½ years)

Can begin to write numerals 1-5. (5 ½ years)

Copies and X and triangle shape.  (5 ½ to 6 years)

Can recognize their name in uppercase letters (5 ½ to 6 years)

Can name most uppercase letters but not all lowercase. (5 ½ to 6 years)

Can print their name with either uppercase or lowercase letters. (5 ½ to 6 years)

I use Channie’s Dino Egg Puzzles and 3D Pop It Ball Fidget Toys to help my sons build hand and finger strength while doing a fun activity. The Busy Quiet Book is also a great way to build fine motor strength that is necessary for handwriting. 

 

Learning to write is an exciting milestone for a child. It is important to support and encourage them every step of the way. Your child will develop hand-eye coordination, hand and finger strength, fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, and executive functioning skills while learning to write. Encourage our child to try different types of writing instruments like pencilsdry-erase markers, and crayons. Each of these requires a different level of pressure when writing. Multi-sensory toys can also teach the foundations of letter and number formation. 

By Kristie Owens, B.S., J.D., M.A. Educational Psychology Candidate and M.A. Special Education Candidate