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Writing for 3-year-olds?

(11 Posts)
AliasNemo Mon 24-Jun-13 20:26:31

Have just been to nursery parents' evening and was surprised to hear that the nursery manager insists that three-year-olds trace writing in their books.
Is it considered good practice to do this? I would have thought three-year-olds could be learning many other things (talking, running, playing, drawing, going to the loo, eating tidily, etc) and that writing could be left until after Reception, unless the child is asking to be shown?
What would your reaction be if this happened in your DC's nursery?

DorisIsWaiting Mon 24-Jun-13 21:00:19

DD3 is (just) 4 and in preschool. They definitely don't do trace writing. I think she has been encourage to try writing her name (or 'mark making'), but there's no real pressure. They do more phonics work sounding out letters and names... but mostly they play.

I don't think I would be very happy that they 'had ' to trace writng the focus of eyfs is learning through play, and that doesn't sound much like play!

JewelFairies Mon 24-Jun-13 21:02:45

I also wouldn't be too impressed. My three year old was encouraged to copy her name on cards (eg father's day) but apart from that she does no writing.

Littlefish Mon 24-Jun-13 21:04:13

I'm a nursery teacher and don't do it. The children have lots of opportunities to develop writing skills in other way:

Painting with water in walls and ground outside
Chalking on the playground
Light box with acetates on to draw over/round
Images projected from an overhead projector onto a large board to be drawn over/round
Lists/notes etc. in the roll play area
Pincers to pick up small objects
Sponges in the water tray
Clothes pegs and clothesline

Many children are not ready for a formal pencil grip and need to work on large movements and hand strength before they move onto letter formation. There is nothing in the EYFS that says they have to trace!

ReallyTired Mon 24-Jun-13 21:06:24

I don't think that is good practice as many three year olds are simply not ready. DD's nursery teach children to write their name when they have the fine motor control to draw a person with a proper head, body, arms and legs. Pushing child to write to early can put them off writing and physically hurt.

Children should be doing a range of activites like thread, playing with playdough, tweesters, cutting, jigsaws, painting, chalks, scribbling or colouring to to name a few activites. Development of gross motor skills is important as well.

lottieandmia Mon 24-Jun-13 21:09:20

I think this is ridiculous. Only a very advanced child would be able to do this at 3. My dd is just 4 and has only just started writing her name. Even in reception they don't do much writing. Tbh I would probably move my dd if she had been subjected to this kind of pressure. She wouldn't have reacted well to it imo.

DespicableYou Mon 24-Jun-13 21:14:33

I'd be moving mine from a nursery setting like that.

My august born dd wasbt interested in writing at pre school so she didnt do it. She spent her time instead digging at the allotment, singing and playing with her peers, dressing dollies, llaying with play doh, playing in the garden.

She had a whale of a time and such a grrat start.

She didnt pick up a pen til reception and now, at nearly 5, can write anything.

I wouldnt send a child of mine to a nursery that didnt prioritise the freedom to play above everythi g else.

AliasNemo Mon 24-Jun-13 22:53:51

I am not too impressed either, as this is supposed to be a Montessori nursery, which we chose specifically because of the emphasis on child-led learning through play. Now I have discovered the manageress wants 4-year-olds to leave as readers, writing for 3-year-olds etc. Would it be a bad idea to let management know we'd rather they stuck to the advertised pure Montessori approach and left reading and writing for their next schools?

TattooEnvy Mon 24-Jun-13 22:59:38

My dd1, who's just 4, has been doing this but as I understand it it is because she wanted to and was asking her key worker to spell things for her so they gave her some tracing to do. Could this be the case?

I understand that not all children are ready or willing and I wouldn't have been happy if it was insisted she do it if she wasn't keen, I think it would have put her off wanting to go and it was a massive struggle getting her settled in the first place!

Xihha Sun 30-Jun-13 00:00:38

Dd's pre-school have done trace-writing since she started at two and a half, she's now 4 and can write nicely on her own and enjoys it. So long as the pre-school are doing it in the right way then I think it's a good thing.

Dd's pre-school don't force her to do it, they just have a writing table they can go to if they want, same as the painting table, playdough, dolls etc. I think I would be worried if they were saying everyone had to do some writing every day but gently encouraging them seems a good idea to me.

kimmills222 Sat 13-Jul-13 10:02:01

Yes, its too early for a 3 year old. At this age they should be made to do phonetics, etc. Kids should be introduced to writing ones they turn 4.

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