Today, let’s talk about ways you can use amusing objects as pointers to teach homeschool writing and reading. You’ll add all sorts of fun to your younger children’s school day the moment you hand them a princess wand or a wooden sword!
Collect or Make Some Pointers
1. Pointers are fun and educational.
Pointers help kids track words better. This strengthens reading and writing skills and helps young children make a more meaningful connection between the words they read and write.
Gather or make a small collection of pointers to keep in a jar in your homeschool area. A good length is 12 inches, but anything in the 10- to 18-inch range will work. Even if your child’s chosen pointer is a bit long, let them use it if it keeps them interested in the task.
2. Household objects make practical pointers.
Search drawers and cupboards—many common objects work well as pointers. Good choices include rulers, fancy chopsticks, silicone spatulas, knitting needles, colorful pencils, paint brushes, long twisty straws, and wooden spoons.
Don’t forget the toy chest! Kids love using swords as pointers, whether they’re made of foam, wood, or plastic. Or maybe they have a light saber or a fairy wand they’d like to use.
Really, just about any long, thin implement that’s lying around the house makes a fabulous pointer to enhance your homeschool teaching time.
3. Whimsical pointers appeal to struggling writers.
If your child is a reluctant writer, try to make writing time as fun as possible. When searching for whimsical or silly objects, you can also check Amazon—or even your local dollar store! Look for:
- Colorful finger pointers
- Unicorn pointer
- Wooden pointers
- Light-up wizard wands
- Sparkly princess wand party favors
- Telescoping back-scratchers in assorted colors
- Dragonfly plant stakes
- Crazy, curly straws
Pick up a few! These delightful, out-of-the-box pointers will surely inspire the most reluctant writer.
4. Homemade pointers add extra fun!
Instead of buying ready-made pointers, you might want to assemble your own, especially if crafty activities motivate your children. Why not plan a pointer-making activity or crafting day? Start with these ideas:
- Paint faces on wooden spoons.
- Buy a wand-making kit.
- Glue pencil toppers to 12″ hardware-store dowels. Try cute outer space or animal pencil erasers!
- For a fun craft, buy plain wooden wands and let the kids decorate them with paint, glitter, or ribbons.
Use Pointers to Teach Homeschool Writing and Reading
Once you’ve added a few pointers to your homeschool space, you can begin incorporating them into your daily lessons.
1. Pointers for reading the room
Let your kindergartner, first, or second grader choose a pointer from the jar. With a pointer, they can “read the room” by pointing to familiar text as you direct them.
- Alphabet chart
- Calendar (month, days of the week, numbers)
- Familiar words on posters, wall charts, book covers, and boxes
2. Pointers for “search and find” activities
- Letter Hunt. Ask your child to search out and point to all the Aa’s or Mm’s or Rr’s he can find around your school room or kitchen.
- I Spy. Go to a room where your child can see words displayed on books, magazines, games, cans, boxes, or wall art. Say, “I spy five vowels,” “I spy an uppercase D,” or “I spy three nouns,” and let your child search and point. Try this activity at the library or in a waiting room using a short pointer, such as a pencil.
3. Pointers as writing tools
Modeling is an important part of teaching writing. As you model where to place a period or how to start a sentence with a capital letter, your children can take an active part in the lesson.
Start by writing on a white board or large sheet of chart paper. Writing on a large surface makes it easier for the child to track writing and use the pointer.
- Track words. Help your child use a pointer to track words in a sentence as you read the sentence aloud together.
- Identify parts of a sentence or paragraph. According to their skill level, ask kids to use a pointer to identify ending punctuation, capital letters at the beginning of a sentence, or paragraph indentation.
Do pointers and other engaging, hands-on activities appeal to your kids? If so, you’ll find these and many more practical ideas within the lessons of WriteShop Primary.
WriteShop Primary gently introduces writing skills to young children using repetition, routine, pre-writing games and activities, crafts, and storybooks. Perfect for most children in grades K-3. Click here for help choosing a starting level.