that teaching namewriting in nursery is just wrong

(133 Posts)
BrexitentialCrisis Mon 09-May-16 22:41:40

It just gets on my tits.

3 year old is being asked to trace his name with a board pen onto a laminated template and sound out the letters. Every day. He hates it and it apparently takes him many minutes to do it, but he has to before he is allowed to go and play. His grip is all over the place and he says it hurts him. But his name is realllly long and the letters don't look like they sound. I'm a teacher and I really disagree with the way it's being done but don't want to sound like an arse if I flag it up. I've overheard the teacher talking about how ofsted recommended they do it so that kids are ready to write in reception. I don't want my son to learn about writing this way.
Whatever happened to painting with water on patios, threading, drawing in shaving foam and all those other fun pre-writing techniques? It's all just so lame. I just need to man up and complain don't I?

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 09-May-16 22:44:26

Part of the point of EYE is compulsory education readiness.

At what point do you expect him to start to learn to write his name?

Primaryteach87 Mon 09-May-16 22:49:10

I taught reception until very recently, only a handful could write their name. So certainly not a barrier to reception entry (they all learnt quickly). I don't oppose them being given the opportunity to learn it but being compulsory in that way is much more likely to mean your son refuses to write when he is older. To be honest it would p** me off as a teacher because he would come in with really negative ideas about writing just when I'm trying to tell them how fun it is!

wheresthel1ght Mon 09-May-16 22:50:05

Fundemantally I think yabu. The nursery has to follow the early years programme.

However, their method sounds off so for being posses off at that Yanbu.

I trained as an early years teacher and we were very much led to work in fun ways and not in such a regimented way as it is not healthy in such young children.

I would do some "fun" writing practice at home and maybe have a word with the nursery about how he is feeling and ask if there is a more gentle approach they can adopt

toots111 Mon 09-May-16 22:51:12

Do you know they definitely don't do / haven't done everything else you mentioned? My daughter learned to write her name in preschool and loved it, so excited that she can do it herself. But they also did/do lots of fun stuff too! Although in fairness she has a super simple name with only 3 letters smile

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 09-May-16 22:51:14

Is there a short version of his name he could write instead? Or could be practice writing it in fun ways with you so it takes him less time at nursery?

Clawdy Mon 09-May-16 22:52:05

I agree with you,OP. Three is very young to be trying to write names. Especially a long name! or one with tricky letters. It's a shame, because at that age many children will struggle and find it difficult.

I think it's ridiculous that they expect 3 year olds to be able to write their name. At this age they should just play! I would speak to the teacher but maybe phrase it in a way that they should just keep it relaxed and not force him if he doesn't want to do it. When we gave our son a nine letter name when he was born we did not know the stresses this would cause when he started reception. He has now shortened his name to a four letter nick name. Is this an option?

LogicalThinking Mon 09-May-16 22:52:30

I completely agree. It is a total waste of time for many kids. There is loads of time for them to learn to write, he does not need to learn this now!
He would be better off doing play that strengthens his fingers and improves fine motor skills, then when he comes to write, it won't be a painful and unpleasant experience.

MadamDeathstare Mon 09-May-16 22:55:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TinklyLittleLaugh Mon 09-May-16 22:56:15

My daughter pretty much taught herself to write her name at nursery. My friend's little boy couldn't/wouldn't even hold a pencil.

They both got exactly the same grades (pretty good ones) at GCSE.

MadamDeathstare Mon 09-May-16 22:57:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SATSmum Mon 09-May-16 22:58:33

ds is now 13, at a super selective grammar.

At 3 he had a fist grip and scribbled.
For his 4th birthday he was given a yellow digger toy, and we decided to draw a picture of it to send to Granny to say thank you. It was the first even vaguely recognisable thing he had drawn.
Within a couple of month she had learnt to recognise his name and then write it.

3 is just TOO EARLY.

and developmentally, until he can draw a person as 2 circles with eyes and mouth and put arms on the body (not the head) then he cannot conceptually differentiate between an 'a' and 'b', and an 'n' and an 'h' and so they are not ready to write. Really gets my goat that this simple developmental chekc is so unknown today. Basic child development.

MeMySonAndl Mon 09-May-16 23:02:26

I really don't know what to say. I have always been a bit into the Montessori method of education and after seeing most children at DS' school (and mine when I was growing up) being able not only to write their name but read and write by that age, I don't think it is such a bad thing. Having said that, we were taught through play, not forced into it.

I understand that there is a train of thought on the idea that reading and writing should be taught much later (Like in Sweden) BUT if your child has dyspraxia or dyslexia, waiting until they are 7 means that most the opportunities for early intervention will be almost gone by the time they realise there is a problem. The problems will be more resistant/permanent by then.

If it helps, there are a couple of tricks to help him with his grip (he will enjoy them, honest): ask him to move frozen peas one by one between two plates, after a few weeks then move to rice grains. (Don't over do it, start with just a few and as soon as he starts to loose interest let him go). You can also use tongs to move the peas once that he feels more confident.

There are pencils that are triangular or have a rubber holder (or even some that turn on when you apply the right pressure), that could help him with his grip until he feels more comfortable with regular pencils.

Hope that helps.

LouBlue1507 Mon 09-May-16 23:08:38

I don't think the nursery expect your LO to be able to write his name anytime soon, they're just getting him used to holding a pen, using the right grip and recognising his name.

It only takes a few minutes and I don't want to sound harsh but sometimes in school children have to do things that they don't particularly want to do. It's just tough.

Piratepete1 Mon 09-May-16 23:09:14

I do think they need to practise writing but what they are doing sounds very boring. There are lots of ways to practise writing names. My DD starts school in September and can write a short sentence phonetically. Her friend can barely write any letters. There are such big differences at this age so many techniques need to be used.

WriteforFun1 Mon 09-May-16 23:14:25

I have a long complicated name
I still remember writing a short version at nursery.
A three year old can't write Esmeralda every day
Emma, yes. So they hound at least use a short.

paxillin Mon 09-May-16 23:16:02

Wouldn't worry about it if it's just a few minutes a day. It is of course easier for Ava and Max than for Imogen and Nathaniel. Don't complain, pick your battles.

Winterbiscuit Mon 09-May-16 23:17:07

I think it's fine for children to learn to write their name at nursery. But it doesn't seem right that your DC has to complete the task before going out to play. Surely the children should spend a set amount of time on it and do their best within that timeframe, then all go out to play.

BackforGood Mon 09-May-16 23:18:52

YANBU. They should be following the dcs interests in the EYFS, not forcing them to do something they don't want to.
Yes, you need to remind them.
some dc will choose to do a lot of mark making and some will want to learn how to do their name, but it's not an appropriate activity if the dc hasn't asked.

SATSmum Mon 09-May-16 23:21:27

main point of pre-school, in my non-professional opinion- is to get the children ready to learn at school.

this is actually really sad.
There are many things that 3 year olds can and should be doing and learning. They are not doing them just to get ready to learn at school they are doing them because they have educational benefit in themselves for young children.
There are so many misconceptions about education, it makes me want to weep.

eg - if you want an 8 year old to write creative and well constructed stories, how do you do that?
Well, you give them loads and loads of creative imaginative play aged 2-5. Home corners, dressing up boxes, junk modelling, free play in sand and water.
No writing. No sitting down and doing worksheets etc, but PLAY.

WhirlwindHugs Mon 09-May-16 23:23:55

My kids preschool teach them but at the child's OWN pace. They also never do tracing, but show and discuss how the pencil moves. DD1 learnt within a week of starting at 2.5, DS has just shown interest and learnt recently at 4.3ish. They both picked it up quickly because they were ready. DS was encouraged to develop other, related, skills until he was interested.

I would be unhappy too.

Carriecakes80 Mon 09-May-16 23:30:24

This is just one of the many thousands of reasons I took my kids out of school to let them learn at home! I am SO glad I did it! No child at age 3 should feel unhappy, or sad when learning to do anything! That completely misses the point! If a child is happy and relaxed, they WANT to learn and are hungry for it! I am doing child-led learning and I honestly have never seen my kids so happy. When she first started school my then four yr old hated writing, her name is also quite long, and she too would complain it hurt her wrist, but her upset fell on deaf ears. This was not the only reason I took my kids out, but seeing my kids stressed, unhappy, my son was being bullied by a teacher after a long illness, I just completely felt let down by the teaching system. There are some cracking teachers out there, but my point is, the more you push a kiddy to learn, the less they will take in. Let a kid have fun and be happy, they will literally hunger to learn things and lap it all up like a sponge. x Ps WHY does a kid of three have to learn how to spell their name?? My eldest was 5 when he learned how to spell his name properly and he is now off to University, so....tell me where the urgency lies??

DoJo Mon 09-May-16 23:34:32

www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2011/11/Gateway-to-Writing-crucial-role-of-the-early-years-practitioner.pdf

Nothing in this suggests that being forced to write your name over and over again is conducive to a love of literacy. I think your nursery are off-base on this one...

zzzzz Mon 09-May-16 23:36:41

and developmentally, until he can draw a person as 2 circles with eyes and mouth and put arms on the body (not the head) then he cannot conceptually differentiate between an 'a' and 'b', and an 'n' and an 'h' and so they are not ready to write. Really gets my goat that this simple developmental chekc is so unknown today. Basic child development

what total twaddle. 4/5 of my children could recognise their alphabet LONG before they could draw people.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now