Thinking & Learning

Learning to Write

In their early years of elementary school, your child won’t just learn to read—they’ll also learn to write. And they’ll probably start with the most important word of all: their own name.

Here's what you can expect your elementary schooler to learn each year:


In kindergarten: In kindergarten, your child will learn to hold a pencil or crayon correctly and form letters. Most kindergartners will learn to write their own name, and maybe other family members’ names, too. They’ll print the letters of the alphabet, and some children may be able to sound out short words and write them, too. They’ll also learn the basics of printed text: for example, that there are spaces between words, and that in English we read and write from left to right.


In first grade: They’ll be using phonics to sound out more words and print them. They’ll also start writing simple but complete sentences, using punctuation like periods at the end of their sentences, and using upper- and lower-case letters. You’ll also see your child start to write common sight words that they don’t have to sound out, like “the” and “as.”


In second grade: By the end of second grade, they’ll be writing paragraphs about their experiences or what they’re learning in school. They’ll be starting to correctly use different kinds of endings on words (like plays, played, playing), and they’ll be able to sound out and spell longer and more complex words.

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