Teaching reading and other language arts skills to preschool learners relies heavily on a concept known as modeling. Modeling merely means exposing young children to the types of behaviors and habits we want them to learn. Many parents and homeschooling educators employ this kind of instruction naturally, without giving it much thought.
When you feel your child is physically ready to write, have your child use a stick or finger to draw in sand, rice, pudding, shaving cream, paint or oatmeal. Make simple lines and shapes and ask your child to copy them.
Book knowledge is the ability to recognize book formats and purpose. Early readers learn how to hold a book properly, to read English from left to right, how pictures supplement the story, and that books have basic components such as a front and back, spine, pages, covers, and more. Children automatically learn these things at a conceptual level long before they understand the purpose of each component.
Next, let your child practice writing on a dry erase board, chalk board or Magnadoodle. Preschoolers also tend to have fun with special crayons and markers designed for use on windows and in the tub. Take care not to rush this process. Let your child move through these stages at his or her own pace.