This summer I have  been helping my five year old son practice his reading and writing skills.  He has been doing great so far but my three year old daughter has been feeling a little left out.  Whenever I mention to my son that it is time for us to work on our homework, she chimes right in and says that she wants homework too!  Well how can you turn that down right?  The only problem is that she can’t really write her letters without me dotting them out for her first.  She can trace most letters fairly well, but if they are not dotted she cannot write them on her own.  I knew I was going to have to figure something out so she could practice writing along side her brother and I, but I didn’t want to spend all my time just helping her because that  would take away from the time I wanted to spend with my son.

Dotting lines out on paper in advance was tedious and time consuming and I knew this was not really a long term solution.  Then I had the fortune to be introduced to a great software program called Startwrite, where you can simple enter in the text you want your child to be able to write, and it automatically puts it on lined paper for you.  It makes the lines, and you can choose how much help you want to give your child but using dots, full letter blocks, and more.  Since my daughter is pretty new at the writing game, I figured we would just work on her name to start.  I chose full letter blocks so she can see what the letter looks like and practice writing them by staying in the lines.  Her is an example of the practice sheet I gave her before she started any writing on it:

My son and I are working on putting letters together to make sounds, so his is a combination of the letters D and A.  Here is the one I made for him, you can see his are not blocked letters like my daughter’s are:


Being able to just type out what I want them to practice and hit the print button has been such a time saver!  My son does know how to write letters without the use of this aid, but I figured getting him to form them a little better by using the dotted lines couldn’t hurt.

Here is a picture of my daughter’s sheet after she wrote her letters out.  I helped her with the one on the bottom that has her full name.  I held her hand as she held the marker and we went over how to draw in the lines.  She did the shorter ones on top on her own.  She still has a little way to go to really “get it,” but since this was her first attempt I think she did pretty good!  We just have to keep practicing and I’m sure she will do just fine.


Here is my son hard at work practicing his letters.  He was supposed to say the sound that D and A make when you put them together as he wrote each set, but he was a little mad at me because I wouldn’t let him play on the 3DS until he finished, lol.  He’ll say them next time :-)

He really did  a great job!  And usually, when he is in a better mood, he does a great job with the sounds too!  So far we have done B-A, F-A, D-A, and we are working on G-A.  He will be going to kindergarten in the fall so I hope the little things we have worked on this summer will come in handy!


If you think something like this could benefit your child, feel free to visit the Startwrite website and learn more about the software they offer!


Written by Jesica.


Disclosure:  The Mommy Bunch was provided a free product to facilitate this review, however, all opinions are strictly our own!