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Teaching pre-schoolers to write at home

(19 Posts)
ahotcupofchai Tue 28-Mar-17 20:24:17

I am interested in any hints and tips on how you taught your pre-schooler to write at home! I posted our journey on my blog but would welcome any ideas!

mrz Tue 11-Apr-17 11:45:15

As a teacher I would advice against using the wipe clean letter formation books you're using. The obvious problem is that they teach a style rarely used in U.K. Schools and perhaps less obviously they don't actually teach letter formation just tracing a shape that happens to be a letter.

2014newme Tue 11-Apr-17 11:49:31

We didn't! As how would I know I'm teaching it the way they learn in school?
If you want to help your child be ready fir school things like queuing up, getting changed for peputting own coat on and off, putting hand up not shouting out, sharing, tidying up, opening own packed lunch items, sitting nicely, are the things valuable!

mrz Sat 15-Apr-17 07:15:31

Having read the rest of the blog I'd also advise avoid Biff Chip et al unless you mean the new Floppy's phonic books

skerrywind Sat 15-Apr-17 07:17:58

Why do you want to? How old is your child?

Afreshstartplease Sat 15-Apr-17 07:20:44

My dd is just turned four and integrated in writing

She will often ask me how to spell words and I will write them down for her to copy

She can now write her name, knows what the letters in her name are and can also write a couple of other words

However she has instigated all of this

Afreshstartplease Sat 15-Apr-17 07:21:15


Interested not integrated

ChangingStates Sat 15-Apr-17 07:24:45

I am a teacher, didn't read your blog. Why do you want to teach your pre-schooler to write? There are so many other things that are for more interesting and exciting to do when getting children ready for school. If your child is a boy then are you aware that the bones in boys hands that enable them to write don't form properly until they are at least 5, later than girls- being pushed to write too young and before they are even physically ready, sadly an aspect of our education system, is what turns do many boys off writing.
I think it's great hat you are wanting to put time in with your child and get them ready for school but IMO much better to develop love of learning, curiosity and interest, problem solving, which will help them be successful life long learners. Could also do lots of activities that get them ready for writing by developing control and gross/fine motor skills- painting, painting on walls/ground using water, play doh etc etc

TJDetweiler Sat 15-Apr-17 07:37:03

Changing do you have any links with more information about the bone formation happening after five? I'm an early years practitioner and we often encourage children to write their name before starting school. Im now questioning if this is misguided.

insancerre Sat 15-Apr-17 07:38:20

I run a nursery and the activities we provide that prepare children for writing for school are

Climbing trees
Climbing the rope ladder
Climbing up the slide
Swinging on the trapeze swing
Mastering the zip wire
Sliding down the firemans pole
Digging in the sand pit
Chalking on vertical surfaces
Zumba and dance routines
Pouring their own water and milk to drink
Painting, mark making
Tweezers to pick up and transfer items
Peg boards
Tap tap

All essential to develop and strengthen first the large muscles in the shoulders, them pivoting at the elbow, then circular and up and down movements at the wrist, then pincer grasp with the fingers
Then, and only then, will children be ready to develop the nip grip needed to hold a pencil and be able to write

Most people just go straight to the holding a pencil stage and this is why lots of children, especially boys struggle with writing at school

Inthehighcastle Sat 15-Apr-17 07:38:55

Out of interest, a question for the teachers on this thread - for a child coming in to reception what is best then for them to know/ be taught to give them the best chance and not be falling behind? I had been getting DS to trace letters but stopped as he wasn't always starting in the correct place for each letter and I didn't want to put him off by correcting him (he won't listen anyway!) so have been doing tracing shapes to help with fine motor skills. Do they need to be able to hold a pencil properly by the time they start?

user1492080882 Sat 15-Apr-17 07:41:42

My grandmother was a teacher and taught me to read and write before I started school. It didn't make me progress any quicker than everyone else, but I did enjoy it. Her methods were probably extremely outdated but it didn't do me any harm.

insancerre Sat 15-Apr-17 07:42:48

The teacher in reception that my nursery feeds does like them to have mastered the nip grip

claraschu Sat 15-Apr-17 07:57:20

One of my 3 children was fascinated by letters, numbers, reading and writing when he was very young. I showed him upper case letters, which are easy to form for little children, and he had lots of fun writing little messages and silly words. Just think how easy it is to draw an upper case E or A with a paint brush or marker. This is more attractive to little kids and easier to do than e or a.

I never told him how to spell things, but just had fun with him letting him make up his own spellings and play with putting sounds together. He liked drawing too, and the letters and writing were part of that. He would write little messages decorated with pictures and really got the idea of letters representing sounds and getting stuck together to make other sounds when he was very young. It was joyful and fun.

He did end up being very academic and doing extremely well in school, and I am sure his playful introduction to letters and numbers helped make that happen.

Before going to school he didn't have the idea that there was a right and wrong way to spell, but he did have good phonetic spelling. As soon as he was in school he learned to spell very easily.

BoboChic Sat 15-Apr-17 07:58:13

I let school teach my DD to write - there are many routes to, and styles of, penmanship and improvisation at home is not the best route!

I agree wholeheartedly with insancerre: the very best thing you can do for your child's writing is to develop his/her muscles and gross/fine motor skills. Take your DC to the playground every day and let him/her use all the toys to the full. Have a small table and chair and an easel in your living room, with plenty of paper, pencils, pens and stickers. Jigsaws, Lego and any toys that require a steady hand and precision are all very helpful. Baby gym, soft play etc are all great.

claraschu Sat 15-Apr-17 08:17:16

Improvisation at home was great for us Bobo. School doesn't always have the most fun and creative approach, and children vary a lot. Some kids are really interested in symbols at an early age; others are not.

In my experience, a child who is very interested in writing will easily and flexibly go from one style to another, and only be enriched by the experience.

Caimsa138175 Fri 28-Apr-17 14:56:44

Since this thread is about children learning to write has anyone any advise. My dd's day nursery is trying to teach the children to write their Nantes, my dd isn't interested at all.

The information provided by the school I've applied for nursery class shows that for being ready for school she should be recognising letters, know what they are and recognise her own name when written, but I can't get her interested in any of it. Does anyone have any suggestions.

Caimsa138175 Fri 28-Apr-17 15:28:05

Names not Nantes

drspouse Fri 28-Apr-17 15:32:24

My son has some fine motor skills problems (he's 5, in YR) and both the OT, pre school, and the SENCO, have used tracing shapes for him. It's more of a general fine motor practice though not specifically teaching letter formation.

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