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Writing practise/forming letters for 3 year olds?

(9 Posts)
DarkDarkNight Mon 26-Sep-16 12:33:28

My son has just started at his new preschool (he has previously attended a nursery when he was 2). At first it was just free play but now in the mornings before that there is a laminated sheet with his name for him to trace, on the other side there are the shapes making up his initial.

At first I thought, fair enough, and he sat down and squiggled all over the sheet or traced a bit and then scribbled some more. But today the assistant was saying to him 'no you don't do that' and physically stopping his hand when he got to the end of a curve.

He has just turned 3 (late summer born) I don't want him to be rushed. I don't expect him to understand the activity or have as much pen control as a 4 year old. Is this normal? I don't want him to be pressured.

FineAsWeAre Tue 27-Sep-16 15:38:36

That is not normal, nor is it considered good practice in early years education. 3 year olds do not need to be forming any recognisable letters or numbers and should be able to mark make freely. I would mention it as he may completely lose interest in mark making if he is forced to do it in a certain way at such a young age. He needs time to develop his motor skills before writing.

SarcasmMode Tue 27-Sep-16 19:21:25


DD(3.5) can write H and I (capitals) but that's something she wanted to do. We have a book for tracing letters and she can do them all if she's tracing but that's something she enjoys I'd find it odd her preschool trying to get her to do writing unless she asked them to help.

Mollymoo78 Sat 01-Oct-16 22:39:31

At our preschool we do start preparing the children for school the year before they start which includes learning letters and numbers and beginning to write their name. However it's done at s child's individual pace and in an encouraging way. Not how you describe.

Newinharrow Sat 08-Oct-16 20:17:26

This is not a normal practice, you should definitely follow it up with headmistress.

NickyEds Tue 11-Oct-16 14:40:07

I wouldn't be happy with this at just 3 years old. Does he have a key worker you could talk to?

DarkDarkNight Thu 13-Oct-16 00:34:41

Thank you all god the replies. It hasn't happened since but I'm generally just really uneasy with it overall. He just wants to play and it feels wrong to have him tracing letters.

I don't know if he has a specific key worker, this is a nursery attached to a school so I'm not sure if they have key workers. I haven't been introduced to anybody that way in any case.

insancerre Fri 14-Oct-16 06:24:52

It's a legal requirement that every child has a key person even in a school nursery
It's also really bad practice for them to be tracing letters and to force children to do writing
I run a nursery and our children are always well prepared for school and the reception teacher is very sportive of what we do
We dont do tracing letters or forced writing activities
It's not developmentally appropriate practice

mrz Sun 16-Oct-16 09:01:13

In a school nursery the teacher is often the key worker (depending on size)

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