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Me or nursery?

(33 Posts)
Saz12 Fri 13-Feb-15 20:45:08

My perfectly-intelligent-but-definitely-not-exceptional PFB DD started nursery about 8 months ago; she goes 2 days a week. She'll start school until Aug 2016.
DD likes to try and draw latters, which nursery has encouraged. IMO she is nowhere near ready (she can barely draw a face / house/ triangle/ whatever). She has learned to draw shapes which to her represent letters - eg a lollipop for "e", 3 dots for a "w", etc. Nursery has a jotter for her to copy letters out into, with her writing the same letter again and again down the page, just like my 1970's primary school did. She is 3 years old.

I've told nursery that I think she's way too young to be doing this at all, and am really unhappy that she has learned to do things wrongly. Nursery assure me they are experts at early years education and should leave them to it.

Your verdict?

Passmethecrisps Fri 13-Feb-15 20:47:08

I would see it as practicing fine motor control and embracing her enthusiasm. The alternative is they don't let her do it or ignore her efforts.

I am fairly certain she will develop the proper ways of doing it and won't get stuck at this level

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 13-Feb-15 20:47:26



sounds crap. Dd charges about playing with whatever she wants at nursery.

Passmethecrisps Fri 13-Feb-15 20:49:22

Oh hang on. I presumed that the jotter had been provided to allow dd to engage in the letters because she wants to. If she chooses to do this and it makes her happy - leave it be. If she is being expected to sit and copy out letters then YANBU

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 13-Feb-15 20:49:47

encouragement is one thing. A book for her to copy in over and over again is another.

Littlefish Fri 13-Feb-15 20:50:08

That sounds awful. If they want to develop her fine motor skills, there are a million different (and fun) ways of doing it that are far more appropriate for nursery aged children.

Sn00p4d Fri 13-Feb-15 20:50:38

I'd imagine they're doing it because she's shown an interest in it rather than enforcing it in any way, jotter or not she would find something to write on as she's clearly interested in letter formation so they can't really stop her. Likewise trying to get her to draw things you see as more age appropriate isn't going to work if it's letters she finds interesting. At 3 any representations of letters aren't really something to worry about, if she wants to try overwriting then it would be better in theory as she'll be learning the correct shapes but that might not be the bit she's interested in.

It's not going to cause any lasting damage and I really wouldn't worry about it, if anything it's good they're giving her the resources to extend something she's interested in, shows they're paying attention to what she's actually doing during the session.

MrsTawdry Fri 13-Feb-15 20:51:44

I think you sound incredibly precious. What do you think will happen through this? confused

caravanista13 Fri 13-Feb-15 20:53:48

YANBU! There are so many exciting creative ways to develop fine motor control and letter formation, but pages of copying definitely isn't one of them!

WD41 Fri 13-Feb-15 20:54:47

What? Your DD enjoys making marks with a pencil, nursery encourage this and you have a problem with it?


Purplepoodle Fri 13-Feb-15 20:56:08

Surely they are not forcing her just providing materials for her to if she wants to do it. You said yourself she likes to do it.

PrettyFeet Fri 13-Feb-15 20:57:05

Is it a montessori structured nursery? That is rather renound for this type of ridiculous.

Im sure they aren't "pressurising" her though.

These things tend to be for the "parents" benefit and to show "how productive their nursery is" rather than what actually goes on.

At that age they have the concentration of a gnat.. and rightly so grin

Lazaretto Fri 13-Feb-15 20:58:35

If she wants to do it...let her. As long as she does other things too.

PrettyFeet Fri 13-Feb-15 20:58:48

Oh and the fine motor skills of a gruffalo grin

Lazaretto Fri 13-Feb-15 20:59:46

It really doesn't matter if she does it wrong. It's about encouraging her natural motivation to learn.

youmakemydreams Fri 13-Feb-15 21:00:51

What WD41 said. Ds is nearly 5 can't draw a house can draw a person to an extent but that is the only recognisable thing he can draw.
He can however write his own name and some numbers and tell you anything you want to know about a whole host of animals and recognise lots of their names written down.
The nursery have encouraged him in a way he enjoys and not sweated the drawing age appropriate stuff.

She will not be writing a lollipop for an e forever but this is all part of the journey to getting it right. Same ds that can write his name use to write it qzp3x0 which is clearly not his name they were just the only things he knew how to write that he figured were letters.

youmakemydreams Fri 13-Feb-15 21:02:13

Should also say that we are in Scotland so at nearly 5 he isn't actually in formal school yet still pre school won't start school until August.

Sn00p4d Fri 13-Feb-15 21:03:16

Qzp3x0 would have been a lovely name! put it on the MN baby name board I bet there will be loads of them running about in a few years

londonrach Fri 13-Feb-15 21:07:30

I remember my sister dd expressing interest in writing letters that age. She just loved coping the shapes my sister draw and spent ages doing it. (Despite other play being offered). She lost interest a few weeks later until older. Sounds like the nursery is just letter her do what she wants...

Saz12 Fri 13-Feb-15 21:09:00

They don't literally FORCE her to do it, but they do massively encourage it over ANY other activity - i.e. indifferent/ignore her playing, huge fuss of her "writing". She has no noticeable interest in doing this at home, but does like doodling / messing with crayons, glitter, paint etc.

Frankly it just seems dour and miserable to me. She seems to "do" a couple of letters a day, writing each one out about 20 or 30 times, and has done for 3 or 4 weeks now.

WD41 Fri 13-Feb-15 21:12:46

How do you know they are indifferent to her playing and are encouraging it above everything else? Do you have one of those nursery cams? Serious question

iammargesimpson Fri 13-Feb-15 21:13:32

If your dd is happy to do that then there's no problem, however if it's part of the nursery's 'curriculum' and she is not happy, then definitely say something. Are the other children doing this too?

At my dd's playschool (pre school year) they were very specific in telling parents that the children did not need to be able to write their name, recite the alphabet, draw letters, etc as they will learn all of that, in a specific way, when they start school. If they learn it 'wrong' at preschool, then the teacher at school has to spend extra time with them. We are in the Republic of Ireland so I don't know how it works elsewhere but imagine it would be somewhat similar?

Lazaretto Fri 13-Feb-15 21:15:16

Well to be honest there are a million other constructive things she could be doing with her time so I do get you smile

MrsTawdry Fri 13-Feb-15 21:18:00

They do massively encourage it over ANY other activity - i.e. indifferent/ignore her playing, huge fuss of her "writing

hmm Have you seen the evidence of this "massive encouragement"?

momieplum Fri 13-Feb-15 21:24:09

I have not yet come across a expert in a nursery (sorry, nursery staff reading this) so for them to say that is almost certainly going to misleading. They have some degree of training but not exactly experts. Doubt a true expert would ask you to leave them to it as experts realise the value of the parents' input. She is your child and you should be making decisions, so follow your gut instincts and if they can't accept your instructions, move her. I would have thought if it were her wanting to do it, you'd be fine with it, but it sounds like you feel the nursery is pushing it.

Prettyfeet, Montessori method doesn't involve drilling for 3 year old. It allows the child to choose from a very wide set of activities each day. The activities are designed to appeal to the natural desire to learn, but it is child led.

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