Should You Teach Your Child Reading & Writing at the Same Time?

Let me start by stating that both reading and writing skills are important and that both should be practiced often and early with preschool, pre-K, and Kindergarten kids.

That said, kids are all individuals and many times the physical skill of writing lags behind the mental skill of reading.

Their brains soak up the knowledge of learning to read, but their bodies bulk at the skills needed to correctly form letters.

young child writing at a school desk

There are pros and cons to teaching reading and writing together as one subject.

The biggest pro to teaching reading and writing together? 

Writing helps to connect the idea of particular sounds making up the different parts of the words. That hand-brain connection is pretty powerful!

The biggest con? 

It can hold some kids back. Forcing your child to write a lot can backfire and make them dread learning to read. They may shut down or complain, and that’s not a great mindset for learning.

So, my advice to you, if you have a child that really struggles with the writing part, is to reduce pressure.

Instead of forcing them to write on the lines, find an alternative way to practice writing that’s less stressful and more fun. Such as:

  • Tracing the word with their finger instead of using a pencil
  • Use a rice or sand tray to write the words in
  • Drop the staying on the line requirement. Let them write as large as they want (dry erase boards can be fun!

Or just skip it all together and focus on reading during reading time and writing during a separate, shorter handwriting practice lesson.

Remember the goal of learning things like the letter sounds and letter names is just that. And your child can learn the letters without also being able to form them 100% correctly with a pencil or crayon. 

So if your child is ready for more when it comes to reading, don’t hold them back just because they don’t want to do the writing or tracing that comes along with many reading resources. 

All of the resources here at Fun Easy Reading, such as the ABC Bundle and the Word Family Bundle, include writing activities- but I encourage you to tailor these resources to your child, especially if your child struggles with writing.

read roll write UT word family worksheet
For example, my youngest son really balks at doing the writing on these pages included the Word Family Bundle. My solution? We just roll and dice, read the word, and color the spot where the word is. He has fun making a race out of which word will win and there are no tears and frustration over writing too many words. 

Always remember that your child is unique and has his own path to follow when it comes to learning. Pushing them to do things before they’re ready isn’t in their best interest. 

Just give your child plenty of fun, educational learning activities so that they have lots of opportunities to practice learning new skills and they will thrive!