How many summer-born 4 yrappear olds can write their name unsupervised?

(80 Posts)

I'm noticing many references in threads to Reception children age 4 even the summer-borns being able to write their first name, although it doesn't specify whether that's unsupervised.

Is this normal?

My June born Reception starter can recognise his first initial but he certainly can't write his whole name supervised or not.

Of course, it will be impossible to hear honest replies I suppose. Still, I'm curious.

kelda Thu 21-Nov-13 13:29:30

I think it depends on the length of the namesmile

Periwinkle007 Thu 21-Nov-13 13:31:38

mine can but I know others (not just summer borns) who struggle with pencil control and can't. AND it does depend on the name IMO. If a child is called Ben or Amy or Sid then that is going to be easier to write than Sheherazade or Balthasar isn't it.

I think on the whole they hope that children will be able to write their own name when they start school but not all will be able to for a variety of reasons.

NickNacks Thu 21-Nov-13 13:31:46

Not sure what you mean by 'unsupervised' but both my boys could write their names before starting reception. (July boy has. 8 letters too )

Dd is 3.2 and can write her initial and sound out the other 4 letters.

Panzee Thu 21-Nov-13 13:32:47

Mine can on the ipad but can't hold a pencil well.

DeWe Thu 21-Nov-13 13:36:33

When my older one was at preschool they encouraged them to write their name by writing it in yellow felt tip and getting them to trace over the top, when they did a piece of artwork.
When they were confident, they encouraged them to copy it, or do it on their own.
Most could, using that method, write their name unsupervised a full year before starting school, and I don't know of any (excuding sn) that couldn't before they went to school.
They also taught them to recognise their names by all having a name badge that went on their chair at the end of the day and they had to recognise and sit on the chair as the parents came in.

In later years Ofsted told them they couldn't do that because they had to learn by letters rather than the whole word, so fewer children could manage it.

It also depends on the name. Certain letters are harder to write: e, s, are obviously harder than l and o. So you might find Pippa can write her name but Alexander-James still struggles for obvious reasons.

It's very interesting to learn that many pre-schoolers can write their whole name too a year before starting Reception! - my 4 year old cannot even hold a pencil in the proper manner yet.

mistlethrush Thu 21-Nov-13 13:46:35

My (then 3 yo) DS was writing his name in nursery year - albeit mirror writing some of the time.

Layl77 Thu 21-Nov-13 13:48:55

Mine could at 2.5 when it was the shortened version i remember doing it at an open day...but at your child's age still struggled as we never taught the whole name - (ie could write Alex but never learned Alexander)
I taught by saying "line up, squiggle, big round, up down" etc as ds was still young but it will be better in reception as they'll be learning phonics and proper ways to write letters!

noblegiraffe Thu 21-Nov-13 13:50:21

My August born reception DS can write his name unsupervised but not very well! His pen control isn't great and his letters are usually large and wobbly.

Some of the other children in his class are similar, others (mainly girls) are doing a beautiful, neat name.

He does play doh and Hama beads and threading to try to build up his motor skills and finger strength.

kelda Thu 21-Nov-13 13:51:48

sharesinNivea I wouldn't worry so much about him writing his name just yet.

You can do many things with him to encourage his fine motor skills - playing with plasticine, painting, finger painting, cutting, sticking, making patterns in shaving foam. Does he draw at all? Make sure he has a thick pencil which is easier to hold. You can get special ergonomic pencils to improve pencil grip.

mrsyattering Thu 21-Nov-13 13:52:37

My dd could read and write her name at 3.5/ 4, and has been very quick to read since starting school (now in P2) My ds 4 on the other hand recognises his initias, only and has no interest at all in reading and writing yet, he starts P1 in August, on registrering him for school HT said they do not expect them to be able to read or write before starting P1. They all learn at different rates, so don't worry

flowery Thu 21-Nov-13 13:52:37

DS2 is just 4 and has been writing his name for about 8-9 months I think. However it is a very easy name to write, to be fair, only 4 easy letters, and until about 2/3 months ago he was still occasionally doing it backwards.

DD wrote her name from about 2.5yo.
DS was writing his (short) nickname by 3yo and could write his full (long) name before he started school.

They both had continuous, free access to pencils, crayons and paper and spent ages pottering round scribbling writing nonsense notes from which letters eventually emerged.

Southpaws Thu 21-Nov-13 13:54:29

My 3.5 year old can write her own name unsupervised, but puts the dot of the 'i' at the bottom of the stick rather than the top grin

She has just picked it up really easily for some reason, but none of her pals can so I wouldn't worry at all.

ShoeWhore Thu 21-Nov-13 13:54:33

I've got 3 summer born boys. Two could write their names before starting school, one couldn't.

ReallyTired Thu 21-Nov-13 13:56:43

dd learnt to write her name at 3 years 3 months. She has a six letter name. Ds could not write his name until he was five and half. He could write his name using magnetic letters from three years old. (Again he had a six letter name)

Hawkmoth Thu 21-Nov-13 13:56:52

Not a chance. He can't hold a pen properly and hasn't even chosen a hand yet. He is writing the first letteron pieces of paper though so it's a start. August born.

itscockyfoxagain Thu 21-Nov-13 13:59:20

It depends on the child, when my August born DS was 4 in reception he didn't even know which hand he wrote with and switched between the two. His name had 4 letters he knew which oneshe needed but his attempts were almost illegible. He had a big vocabulary and spoke in complex sentences
DD is in nursery turned 4 this week and has been able to write her name independently for 6 months or so. However she has a speech delay and is hard to understand when she speaks if you don't know her well.
It's all swings and roundabouts.

Littleredsquirrel Thu 21-Nov-13 14:00:29

Both of mine could write their names unsupervised prior to starting reception. DS2 is a late summer baby. They could both read too.

having said that DS2 is now in year 2 and writing is not one of his strong points.

supergreenuk Thu 21-Nov-13 14:01:05

Try not to worry. All children are different and will excel in some things and be slower at others. If your worried talk to there teacher.

missorinoco Thu 21-Nov-13 14:01:58

A few years ago when my summer born 4 year old was starting school I snorted with laughter at the idea he sign a form school had sent home, and told him to put a cross on the line.

My summer born 4 year old daughter started school this year. She signed it without blinking.

No difference in parenting. Poor DC2 probably gets less attention than DC1 did.

AstonishingMouse Thu 21-Nov-13 14:03:29

My DS1 couldn't at all. I remember all the children had drawn a picture of themselves and written their names underneath. His was one of the few illegible ones in the class.
He could write it very neatly by the end of the year.

Sunshinelaulau Thu 21-Nov-13 14:05:16

My August born ds2 can, 5 letter name, he can also write simple words using the phonics technique like is, at, pen, spoon, moon etc he can read these words as well in a story.. It took my ds1 a lot longer but he had multiple medical issues so i put it down to that. My July born dnephew can't write his easy 4 letter name though so depends entirely on the child.. I wouldn't worry about it smile

MagratGarlik Thu 21-Nov-13 14:05:35

One winter born ds could write his name before he started school. One summer born ds who could not - he just didn't have the fine motor skills, but otoh his numeracy was superb before he started school.

Different children will develop different skills at different rates. I really wouldn't worry about it, 4 years old is really just tiny and in Scandinavia children won't have started formal schooling at this age yet.

Sillybillybob Thu 21-Nov-13 14:06:37

DS is 4 but born in September so starting school next year but only by a matter of a couple of days.

He hasn't yet decided on a hand, cannot hold a pen properly. Can recognise but not write the first letter of his name. He can do the second letter oddly enough but there's another 4 after that...

lougle Thu 21-Nov-13 14:08:13

DD3 is April born. She can write her name but it is 4 letters. She has quite a good pen grip now, but hasn't dropped her her third finger down below the pen to make the tripod grip yet.

The stages are:

"Pencil grip follows a predictable pattern. This develops from:

the basic palmar grasp, where the child wraps all his fingers round the pencil and moves his whole arm to make marks,
to the digital finger grasp, where the hand is above the pencil and the child uses the whole arm to manipulate it,
to the tripod grasp, with fingers placed near the tip of the pencil with the thumb opposing the fingers, and movement controlled by the fingers."

DD3's teacher found a top tip on Pinterest - apparently if you hold something in the palm of your hand (like a tissue) with the fourth and fifth fingers, you have no choice but to use a tripod grip to hold the pencil.

Taffeta Thu 21-Nov-13 14:08:31

MN children are not the norm, op.

Spottybra Thu 21-Nov-13 14:08:54

Mine can and does....even on walls, then blames it on his little sister!

LeonieDeSainteVire Thu 21-Nov-13 14:10:51

Well my 3.11 year old has just learned to write his whole name (6 letters) having been able to write the first two letters for about a year before that. It's mostly legible and generally goes left to write but the second letter is quite often upside down smile

I suspect it's a little like learning to walk or many other skills, sometimes it seems everyone else's child can do it and yours can't then yours figures it out and you forget it was ever an issue.

Some children do find pencil grip incredibly hard to master and there are activities that can help with this but it may just be he isn't ready yet.

TheRobberBride Thu 21-Nov-13 14:11:59

My summer born DD could write her name before she started Reception. It wasn't neat but it was legible. Her name is only 4 letters long though!

Moofins Thu 21-Nov-13 14:12:17

4 months ago my DS couldnt and wouldn't write a thing - didnt even like drawing and when he did it was still all scribbles. I bought some basic poundshop shape and letter writing books which he really got into.

On his 4th birthday he wanted to write his name on all his thank you letters (it took ages but for the first time he was completely focused!) Since then he has hugely improved. he can write his name and all letters but needs quite a bit of promting from me as to which letter goes where. He also tends to write the letters all over the place if I am not watching him rather than one after the other.

As others have said - his pencil grip is not great and his writing is wobbly and sometimes huge sometimes small!

I think they all get it at different stages - my 2 year old DD is already drawing shapes rather than scribbles and I didnt do anything different between the two. Infact I do alot less with DD than I did with DS. (lol! now I feel guilty!)

I really worried about it before he started school and as the youngest in the class he is definately behind his peers but his teacher is very encouraging. I have been amazed at the difference a few months have made.

LeonieDeSainteVire Thu 21-Nov-13 14:12:22

Left to right of course grin blush

TheRobberBride Thu 21-Nov-13 14:13:36

And I should say that was unsupervised-as in she would go off and do it independent of me or anyone else.

Taffeta Thu 21-Nov-13 14:14:11

And of course some children like writing and others don't. My DS, for example, loves writing, always has, was first in his year to get a pen licence etc. DD, OTOH, hates writing but has excellent fine motor skills if her recorder playing is anything to go by.

Please don't worry op, it's one of many many things, and as someone else said, he will get it, and when he does you will have moved on to the next thing to worry about.

DeWe Thu 21-Nov-13 14:15:22

But also some of those who learn earlier will do it the "easiest" way. They'll hold the pencil lin full grip, and write (eg) an "a" as a circle then a line coming out of the side.
When they teach them in reception they may well be requiring them to hold the pencil correctly, and form the letters properly. That does take a little longer to learn.
And those who have done it the "easy" way, will often have to relearn how to do it too.

WowOoo Thu 21-Nov-13 14:15:53

Mine can, but only just and this is with help.

He's July born. We had an October born friend over the other day and her writing was amazing. She wrote his name in such neat writing I've put it on the fridge to inspire him!

Her mum says it's all she ever wants to do, whereas mine runs away if I bring out the pencils grin

BlinkQuenelle Thu 21-Nov-13 14:17:23

DS was 4 in June. He could hold a pencil in his fist and write his name with supervision before he started school.

In his Reception class the children's first task every day is to write their name. Some of them write over dotted lines, others write freehand. Now DS can hold a pencil properly and write his name without supervision.

His fine motor skills need developing though, some of the letters are MASSIVE.

LydiaLunches Thu 21-Nov-13 14:40:33

DD2 could write her very short name in a precise mirror image right to left given at least a page of A4 to work with smile

noramum Thu 21-Nov-13 14:47:47

DD (summer born) has 8 letter in total, 4 in her first name, 4 in her surname.

The nursery made it a goal that all children starting Reception should be able to write their first names. They did but all in printed capital letters.

DD's school started teaching cursive from Day one and it took around a month for DD to write her name but she got into the habit in using only lower case letter.

Hersetta Thu 21-Nov-13 15:17:24

I have a 31/8 DD. She started reception and could independantly write her 7 letter name - not her surname though.

thegreylady Thu 21-Nov-13 15:49:53

My dgs isn't Summer born [Feb] but could write a short form of his name before he started school.

DoctorDonna Thu 21-Nov-13 16:31:15

My June born ds couldn't write his name until well into the reception year. In my experience it has absolutely no bearing on future academic achievement.

jerryfudd Thu 21-Nov-13 16:47:44

Aug born two with 6 letter names can\do write their own names and have done since nursery. If they draw a picture they usually put their name to it without prompting

legoplayingmumsunite Thu 21-Nov-13 16:59:25

My girls both have short names and went to a nursery that taught letters from 3 and have several artists in the family so are good at drawing which is the same skill set as writing so yes, they could write their names before they turned 4. However, there are plenty in DD2's reception class who don't have good fine motor skills yet and struggle with writing. It's really not something to worry about at this stage. Oh, and you are unlikely to get many 'my child couldn't write in reception' posts because even though that is normal it's not a good boasting opportunity.

Scoobyblue Thu 21-Nov-13 17:04:48

My ds2 (born July) could but his name only had three letters.

mammadiggingdeep Thu 21-Nov-13 18:17:52

My 3 year old can write her shortened version of 3 letters unsupervised. She was doing this at 2.5 but although she knows the letters in the proper version of her name she can't write it unsupervised yet.

I'm a twin and at 4 I was writing my name...my twin brother couldn't hold a pencil yet he turned out to be some kind of a maths genius, speaking 3 languages fluently!! Just shoes its a marathon not a sprint smile

mammadiggingdeep Thu 21-Nov-13 18:18:10

* shows not shoes!!!

FlirtyThirty Thu 21-Nov-13 22:26:46

My summer born DS could write his name unspervised from about 3.5yrs. I encouraged him to learn to print his name (5 letters) and he grasped it quickly. Occasionally 1 letter was back to front at first. He was proficient by starting school and now writes it in his school's cursive script on all his work. He is proud of being able to write it like this but initially really wasn't keen on changing style. He has always had good find motor skills though. I was under the impression the majority of his class were similar.

DS1 (preschool, age 3y8m) can write his 6-letter name beautifully. I think it comes from copying his sister, and from a phonics app on DH's phone that he plays on.

He can also write the rest of the alphabet, and will happily write eg birthday cards for his friends just asking me what letters to write, one at a time.

I think this is fairly unusual at this age, though - he's always had very good motor skills.

Xochiquetzal Thu 21-Nov-13 23:59:40

Summer-born DS(9) could write his full name by the time he was 3 and a half, he does have a very short name though (5 letter first name, 4 letter surname). DD(5)s been able to write her name since just after she started pre-school, although its only just stopped having random capitals in the middle, she has a fairly short name too.

I'm summer-born and couldn't write my full name til midway throuh year 1, I blame my parents for giving me a stupid name that no one can spell, I still did very well at 11+/GCSEs/A-levels though so not bein able to write in reception clearly wasn't a major problem

DorisHerod Fri 22-Nov-13 00:15:50

Taught YR for 20+years. About 2/3 of children can write their name on staring school, in some form, I.e some letters, possibly some reversals, some in wrong order etc, but generally recognisable. Summer born children in about the same ratios. Has declined over time I would say with more children being able to 15 years ago...probably nearly all would arrive at school able to write own name.

However, bears no particular link to ability, just how much they have been taught at home or preschool.

But, it's enormously important to some children to be able to write their own names. Makes them feel very grown up etc. so if your child does show any interest is worth teaching them. It's nice to start school able to write your name on your painting!

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 22-Nov-13 00:57:16

My 3.5 year old wrote his name unsupervised for the first time today grin It was the 3 letter shortened version of his name. Obviously longer names are harder to manage.

laughingeyes2013 Fri 22-Nov-13 01:11:00

Nope. And I'm not going to hot-house him either. He will learn it at school and won't miss anything if I let him do it when he's ready to.

I didn't learn to write my name until I was at school and it didn't stop me getting my degree or a senior position in my career!

AcrylicPlexiglass Fri 22-Nov-13 01:13:55

My daughter can't write her name yet. It's one of her targets for this term, in fact. She has an 8 letter first name which isn't really shortenable and I think she is going to struggle to hit the target! She does a lovely first letter and then says "Muuuumeeee! Write the rest for me!"

duchesse Fri 22-Nov-13 01:14:03

DD3 (August born, 4y 3 m) can't. She can manage the first 5 letters unaided but then forgets what comes next. She's a bit dicey on E (it tends to end up with extra bars) and I don't think she's ever written her name as far as the N so I don't know if she can do an N.

I'm not at all worried about it.

AcrylicPlexiglass Fri 22-Nov-13 01:14:27

She is in reception and a summer baby, btw.

AcrylicPlexiglass Fri 22-Nov-13 01:16:36

Hi duchesse.smile We were on the anti-natal thread together. Can't remember what I was called back then though! I remember you posting pictures of your lovely neat bump. Can't believe that bump and my bump are now 4 and at school!

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 22-Nov-13 01:21:19

"It's very interesting to learn that many pre-schoolers can write their whole name too a year before starting Reception! - my 4 year old cannot even hold a pencil in the proper manner yet."

My eldest could write her name clearly when she was 3.

My next child can just about draw a something that looks a bit like a face at 3.5.

I think the range of what is possible is enormous.

I expected the nursery teacher to have some serious words with me about my 3 year old's pencil refusal and inability to hold a drawing implement, but she said it was totally normal.

atomicyoghurt Fri 22-Nov-13 01:43:43

Don't worry about it! Pencil control comes along with a whole heap of other developmental bits and bobs and you can't expect every child to get there at the same time.
My first child could do it (long name) my second couldn't (long complex name) and my third is two and can already write hers but it's only 4 letters. I think if your child can recognise their name written down that is more important, and if they can write the first letter so they can mark their work that will make them feel good

But seriously, chill out about it. It will come. Just give plenty of opportunity for mark making.

3bunnies Fri 22-Nov-13 06:05:34

Ds is a Sept boy so 4 but starting school next Sept. He hasn't decided even which hand to use and isn't writing letters legibly yet. I am trying to encourage him because he can read and I would like to reduce the discrepancy between his reading and writing skills as they seem to be in groups assessed on both for phonics so I don't want him bored in an easy group or out of his depth in a harder group, somewhere in the middle would be great.

He is also my last so I have time to devote to worrying about his education! When dd1 was in reception, life with a baby and toddler too was just about getting through the day!

Metebelis3 Fri 22-Nov-13 07:44:51

They all could. Well before they started school. Two of them have subsequently been moved to keyboard only/mainly due to dyspraxia and appalling handwriting (plus pain etc) but they could write their names, as a one off, fairly legibly from about 3. One of the benefits of going to nursery I suppose, knew there had to be one.

duchesse Fri 22-Nov-13 09:06:33

Acryclic, hello, whoever you are! I know, it's fair flown by. DD is delightful and I thank my lucky stars every single day.

Mittensonkittens Fri 22-Nov-13 13:35:03

My summer born boy started reception this September having been able to write his name for over a year. However that was all he could write and unlike some of his autumn born peers, particularly autumn born girls, had no interest in writing anything else.

He's more interested now but his writing isn't great, it's too big and some of the letters he finds tricky. He is also left handed. On the other hand it is very much a formation thing because he can sound out words quite well. He's doing ok at school overall but if he had been autumn born he would have been towards the top of his class I think whereas he is more in the middle.

MummytoMog Fri 22-Nov-13 14:43:25

Mine. Late August birthday, been able to write since her third birthday. She can't talk though if that makes you feel any better.

ZombieMonkeyButler Fri 22-Nov-13 14:49:30

August born DD can write her name & she's 2.6 years old. To be fair though, it is a very easy name to write and only contains 3 letters.

Neither DS1 nor DS2 could have written their own names before Reception age though, and they were September and April babies.

He'll get there eventually grin.

ZombieMonkeyButler Fri 22-Nov-13 14:49:54

Clearly 2.3, not 2.6 blush.

NaturalBaby Fri 22-Nov-13 14:52:32

Mine can and big brother could because nursery made them write their name on a 'register' every morning when they arrived for the last term before starting school. They enjoyed doing it with all their friends and by the end of term they could do a reasonable effort on their own.

SparklyFucker Fri 22-Nov-13 15:07:49

Both mine could make a legible attempt at their names by the summer term in nursery, so at about 4yo. Ds1 was earlier and with more finesse than ds2, but you could still tell it was his name (ds2, that it).

Helspopje Fri 22-Nov-13 15:30:47

my summer born 3 yr old has been able to write her 6 letter name since she was 2.9

KatoPotato Fri 22-Nov-13 15:36:48

My DS could write his name from about 2.9, but now insists on putting a smiley face in the 'O' and an exclamation mark at the end...

Heathcliff27 Fri 22-Nov-13 15:50:14

My june born 4 yr old can write her name quite well, i've noticed a definite improvement in the last couple of months. She goes into first year primary school August next year.

YellowDahlias Fri 22-Nov-13 19:09:46

My summer born DD could write her nickname (5 letters) before she was 3. She could write her proper name (6 letters) by the start of school but would occasionally need a prompt as to the spelling.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Sat 23-Nov-13 15:19:35

Spring born DS could write his 8 letter name when he was 2 but Summer born DS could just about write his name (7 letters) the term before he started school, it was very large writing and it took a while for him to be able to write letters properly once he started school. I think it varied massively in both their year groups and also the varied level of writing continues for quite a few years from what I have seen.

DS1 is now in Y3 and some children have a beautiful grown up handwriting style with flair etc whereas others still have very childlike difficult to read handwriting.

At 4 I wouldn't worry at all as many children do not have the strength to hold their pencils properly.

duchesse Sat 23-Nov-13 16:26:28

I don't think I could write, nor even attempted to, until I was nearly 6. I could read fluently by 3 but it never occurred to me to write until I went to school. I never went to nursery or any pre-school setting- the first time I had to write my name was when I started school in year 1. I'm quite academically able. I don't think writing has any bearing on or relationship with intelligence or academic ability as long as it's achieved in some form by a sensible age (obviously there are lots of alternative means of notation these days, which enable children with motor skills problems in ways that didn't exist 35 years ago)

RobinSparkles Sat 23-Nov-13 16:39:28

DD1 could write her name unsupervised at 3.11 (so very nearly 4). She was born in June so was 4.3 by the time she started reception.

She's now 6 and her writing is fine as far as 6 year olds go. She doesn't hold a pen "properly", she never has - she's always held it with her whole hand iykwim, I haven't really pushed her to do it "correctly" as I thought it was more important for her to be comfortable. Her presentation could be improved.

In fact, my two year old holds a pen much better than my 6 year old ie. correctly but she can't write her name! grin

ihearttc Sat 23-Nov-13 21:14:23

DS1 who actually has a feb birthday couldn't write his name before starting school and at the end of Reception wasn't that great either.

However he is now in Y4 and has really neat and small handwriting.

Iwillorderthefood Sat 23-Nov-13 21:21:09

DD2 is July born and can recognise the first letter of her name. She absolutely cannot write her name though. She has no interest in doing it either.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 23-Nov-13 21:24:02

dd1 was 4.6 (March-born) when she started reception
she could just write her name when she started, in massive, wobbly letters about three inches high. plenty of the kids in her class hadn't got that far.

bundaberg Sat 23-Nov-13 21:24:12

my june baby can write his name. But his name is Asa, so it isn't exactly hard. and he has an obsession with letters and writing...

he's the only one of my children to be able to write his own name on starting school. His siblings were both older than him when they started too!

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