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Nursery have raised concerns over DD's development

(16 Posts)
muminthecity Sat 13-Jun-09 19:45:34

DD will be 4 in September. I have never had any concerns about her, I thought she was developing really well, she is sociable, happy and confident. However, when I picked her up from nursery yesterday her teacher mentioned to me that she is ordering a special pencil-grip contraption for DD as they are concerned that she still hasn't learned how to hold a pencil correctly. She still holds it in a fist, I haven't ever really encouraged her to hold it properly as it just isn't something I've really thought about, she loves to draw and her pictures are pretty good (in my slightly biased PFB opinion!) The teacher went on to say that DD's writing is coming on well but she struggles to write her name independently (i.e. without copying it from somewhere.) She gets the first 3 letters spot on but the last 2 are a bit hit and miss. This is something nursery think we need to work on both at nursery and at home.

Lastly, she told me that she has bought an egg timer for my DD as her concentration is poor and needs to improve as she is constantly dotting about from one activity to the next without finishing anything. The teachers now use the timer to make sure DD concentrates on what she is doing for 3 minutes. They plan to gradually increase this length of time.

I am now slightly concerned. Are these things I need to worry about? I have always just thought that she was a normal 3 (almost 4) year old and have never really questioned her writing ability or concentration, but nursery have made me reconsider. The teacher was saying how important it is for her to have these skills before she starts school, but she won't be starting school for over a year, surely that is enough time for her to develop these things naturally? Or should I be encouraging her a bit more? Would really appreciate any advice.

bigchris Sat 13-Jun-09 19:47:11

they are going way ott if you ask me
none of those things matter until she gets to school
really don't worry smile

Grammaticus Sat 13-Jun-09 19:47:17

She sounds pretty normal to me. Is it a nursery full of city-type parents who expect the moon on a stick?

bigchris Sat 13-Jun-09 19:47:45

actually I'd be inclined to tell them to pack it in with the egg timer and to stop trying to get a 3 year to write her own name!

KnickKnack Sat 13-Jun-09 19:49:40

She sounds like a completely normal 3yr old

I would wait until she starts school before worrying about any of the above (and even then I would not worry about it as she will still be very young if only turning 4 in September)

Kirstieallsoppsalterego Sat 13-Jun-09 19:49:53

Sociable, happy and confident sound fab to me. Is the nursery generally nice, or generally bonkers?

Your DD will get there in her own good time. All of a sudden, it will just fall into place when she's ready. I should tell the nursery that you're happy with things the way they are, especially if she won't be going to school for another year.

Bear in mind that, 20 years ago, she'd have been at home with you at that age, and wouldn't have been anywhere near a school-like environment. At most, she'd have been to a playgroup, where pencil grip and concentration would not have been an issue. You know her best: if you haven't noticed a problem, the chances are there isn't one. She sounds like a lovely, normal three-year old to me.

BoysAreLikeDogs Sat 13-Jun-09 19:50:08

shock at timer

A grip aid can be a good thing ( DS's grip was never corrected and now age 9 has a unique way of holding a pencil that no amount of grips can correct)

But really I am agog

The skills she needs to go into school are:

dress and undress independently
toilet without assistance
coat on and off easily
be able to sit for a short time for register/carpet time
able to open her lunchbox/handle cutlery

bigstripeytiger Sat 13-Jun-09 19:50:48

Is your nursery for real?

I would have thought that a 3 year old who could write their own name and hold a pencil properly was doing unusually well. I dont think that not doing that would be any cause for concern.

Haribosmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 19:50:57

The writing sounds pretty normal to me...

Certainly my Elder DSD couldn't write her name without copying it at 3YO. We used to do dot-to-dots to hlep her with letters, but not in a 'got to improve' sort of way, just as a fun activity IYSWIM.

Not honestly sure about the concentration. While kids do flit from one thing to another (my DSDs do even now and they are well into double figures! grin) 3 minutes doesn't seem to excessive. I would expect my 1 YO to concentrate on a toy / activity for that length of time (in fact, he has an egg timer set to 1 minute to brush his teeth and he copes with that fine)...

But, I'm no expert and my gut feeling would be if YOU are happy with her development etc., then that's by far the most important thing.

mazzystartled Sat 13-Jun-09 19:51:00

i would seriously think about changing nursery

it sounds VERY old-fashioned and somewhat misguided to me

foxinsocks Sat 13-Jun-09 19:51:32

dear oh dear muminthecity

the sort of concerns my nursery were raising about ds at the same age were the type to do with never wanting to get off the bikes in the garden or demolishing the snack and wanting more

that is awful...totally ridiculous. Don't need to worry about any of that yet. Seriously. Is it a private nursery linked to a private school?

I would be just encouraging her to enjoy school because at this age, you want to try and make sure they like the experience and have FUN!

I would be tempted to take my child out of a place like that tbh.

dilemma456 Sat 13-Jun-09 19:57:44

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dilemma456 Sat 13-Jun-09 20:01:57

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muminthecity Sat 13-Jun-09 20:03:08

Wow, thanks for all the quick replies. It's a day nursery, not attached to a school. DD has been going there for almost a year and I've never had any problems with them before, in fact I've always been really pleased with them, but then DD is my only child and this is the only experience I've had of any sort of childcare.

I think I knew that I had nothing to worry about really, but it's nice to have a bit of reassurance from all of you, so thankyou for that.

Haribosmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 20:42:14

That's a good point dilemma makes... The only time I need an egg timer for DS is brushing his teeth, which he finds desperately dull when there are far more interesting things to do around the bathroom.


dilemma456 Sat 13-Jun-09 22:36:34

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