How long did it take your child to learn to write the alphabet without tracing?

(8 Posts)
pomegranate1975 Sun 08-Dec-13 12:21:33

How much practising of tracing did your child do before she/he could write the letters on their own?
Do i give the letter "a" to trace about 50 times so he will know how to write it? So each letter takes 50 times to write?

kelda Sun 08-Dec-13 12:25:46

It's not as simple as that. Some children will get it quickly, other children will take a lot more practise.

Practise in fine motor skills - crafts, painting etc, is very useful as a preparation to learning to write.

pomegranate1975 Sun 08-Dec-13 12:36:21

Yes he does all the crafts, scissors cutting and painting etc.

Artandco Sun 08-Dec-13 12:42:18

I don't think we have done ' tracing'. I just write a letter and he copies. Just 4 this month and he can write the alphabet fairly good.

Can you try that? Ie he would draw a fish and below I would
Write F then Fish. And he would copy below that

insancerre Sun 08-Dec-13 12:46:03

We don't do tracing anymore at the nursery I work in.
We do copying letters, usually starting with the first letter in their name.

teacherlikesapples Sun 08-Dec-13 15:20:48

There is a great deal of development that need to occur before a child can write recognisable letters that are correctly formed. Two of these factors you cannot rush or push before a child is developmentally ready, the last one you can ruin by pushing before a child is ready or teaching in an inappropriate way.
Some examples of development include:

* Physical development, hand strength, fine motor skill & the dexterity needed to grasp and hold the pencil correctly.
* Understanding of what a letter is- recognising why a b and d are different, for example, even though they look very similar.
* motivation- intrinsic is best, since that is what will motivate children to want to write more, practice more & perfect their skill.

The early years are about experimenting & exploration, the most effective literacy learning comes when children have an opportunity to mark make in a fun, low stress, environment where they don't have to worry about whether they are getting something right or wrong. E.g- finger painting, making patterns in sand, role play etc...

Writing is one of those things that needs to be correct in order to be read by others. If children are pushed to write before they are developmentally ready, it can quickly become something that they dislike, viewed as a punishment & certainly not something they will want to do for fun. Which is unfortunate- because the only way to perfect the skill is practice.

I would advise against tracing altogether. Especially if you have this notion of getting him to copy it 50 times! That is one sure way to kill any desire to want to write. It sounds like a punishment.

Tracing doesn't teach a child the correct starting points for forming letters correctly and if your child is still at the stage that they need to trace- then they aren't developmental ready. It places the wrong emphasis on this important learning- it tells the child: You must get this right, instead of providing a 'wow' opportunity moment, that would inspire & motivate. It doesn't help a child develop tenacity or perseverance. It just only tells them that they are getting it wrong. Which is not motivating or helpful (if they are developmentally not ready)

Instead- practise developing fine motor skills in other ways: playdough, clay, lego, sand & water play, threading, painting, messy play, just colouring & experimenting with crayons, chalk & pencils (no requirements, just explore)
Provide notebooks & clipboards, have him 'help write' the shopping list with you (doesn't matter what his letters/symbols look like) Point out letters, words & symbols out around your environment. Look for short, natural, teachable moments. Make learning to write a fun journey, gradually picking up the skills as he is ready, then building on them. That way- writing will be an achievement, his own achievement, that is what motivates children to WANT to write.

nataly13 Mon 16-Dec-13 15:42:35

teacherlikesapples that's a great explanation, description and advice!

RussianBlu Sun 26-Jan-14 23:48:00

Forget the tracing and do exactly as the above person said!

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