Writing expected by Receptin child (4.10 yo)(13 Posts)
Teacher has sent a message home saying that DS finds writing tricky and to do a diary with him over the Easter hols to improve.
I really appreciate that, obviously, especially as DS does find free writing hard e.g. Finishing a complete sentence. And his handwriting looks like a spider has crawled across the page and died .
But I have just given him some words to spell (farm animals) and all are spelt pretty correctly - "hors" for horse; "maus" for mouse; "caw" for cow, but good effort in my opinion.
So, my question is how much I should be concerned about the lack of free writing, given that he obviously can do individual words, and the neatness issue (which obviously bothers the teacher, but not me).
DS is on ORT level 2 if that's relevant.
P.s. He also loathes colouring and cannot stay in the lines at all and leaves loads of white space.
I think encouraging him to write a short sentence or so when you do something over easter is a good suggestion from the teacher. Could you take photos and print them out to stick them in so we had some prompts to help him. You could help him as much as he needs but good practise.
My YR, in British School, but not in the UK, has been asked to write a couple of sentences a night, using his tricky words for the week. We normally manage 1-2 sentences before someone (him, his brother or me ) gets fed up.
Thanks Desert. We've only had a few Tricky Words sent home (which DS can now spell). I've just googled others and will try to get him learning these too!
Great idea about photos icklekid. Embarrassingly we don't have a printer, but I could show him some on the camera!
We have the same the issue. Have been told to do anything that can help develop the muscles in the arm and hand. Throwing and catching, holding heavy objects, lego, play dough etc. Whilst it's not necessarily a concern in year R, in year 1 a lot more writing is expected so it makes sense to do what you can now.
I work as a reception TA, the range of ability in children at this stage is vast. Some children can write sentences, others a few words, whilst some can only manage a few letters or perhaps their name. Your Ds sounds somewhere in the middle. We're very play based in our reception class and try not to push a child before they're ready as feel this can do more harm than good.
Did his teacher explain in what way he finds writing tricky? Fine motor skills, pencil grip, letter formation, lack of concentration?
For most of the above I'd say there are better ways of helping him over forcing him to sit and write when he doesn't want to.
Mumof3cherubs suggests the kind of activities I'd have recommended.
Thanks Cosmic and Mumofthreecherubs. The teacher hasn't really elaborated, but I think all the issues you mention are part of it and definitely the cause of the spider-like handwriting. As I say, I can't get too concerned about this as I grew up in the generation where we just did our own thing, rather than cursive -and they'll all be using keyboards to type anyway in later life- but maybe I should get concerned?! We'll definition do the playdough and catching - just up DS' street.
Things to remember:
Upright working surfaces promote fine motor skills. Examples of these are: vertical
chalkboards; easels for painting; flannel boards; lite bright; magnet boards (or
fridge); windows and mirrors; white boards, etc. Children can also make sticker
pictures; do rubber ink-stamping; use reuseable stickers to make pictures; complete
puzzles with thick knobs; use magna-doodle and etch-a-sketch as well. The benefits
for these include: having the child's wrist positioned to develop good thumb
movements; they help develop good fine motor muscles; the child is using the arm
and shoulder muscles.
Fine Motor Activities
Moulding and rolling play dough into balls - using the palms of the
hands facing each other and with fingers curled slightly towards the palm.
Rolling play dough into tiny balls (peas) using only the finger tips.
Using pegs or toothpicks to make designs in play dough.
Cutting play dough with a plastic knife or with a pizza wheel by holding
the implement in a diagonal volar grasp.
Tearing newspaper into strips and then crumpling them into balls. Use
to stuff scarecrow or other art creation.
Scrunching up 1 sheet of newspaper in one hand. This is a super
Using a plant sprayer to spray plants, (indoors, outdoors) to spray snow
(mix food colouring with water so that the snow can be painted), or melt
"monsters". (Draw monster pictures with markers and the colours will run
Picking up objects using large tweezers such as those found in the
"Bedbugs" game. This can be adapted by picking up Cheerios, small cubes,
small marshmallows, pennies, etc., in counting games.
Shaking dice by cupping the hands together, forming an empty air space
between the palms.
Using small-sized screwdrivers like those found in an erector set.
Lacing and sewing activities such as stringing beads, Cheerios,
Using eye droppers to "pick up" coloured water for colour mixing or
to make artistic designs on paper.
Rolling small balls out of tissue paper, then gluing the balls onto
construction paper to form pictures or designs.
Turning over cards, coins, checkers, or buttons, without bringing them to
the edge of the table.
Making pictures using stickers or self-sticking paper reinforcements.
Playing games with the "puppet fingers" -the thumb, index, and middle
fingers. At circle time have each child's puppet fingers tell about what
happened over the weekend, or use them in songs and finger plays.
Place a variety of forms (eg. blocks, felt, paper, string, yarn, cereal,
cotton) on outlines
Match shapes, colour, or pictures to a page and paste them within the
Using a screwdriver
Locking and unlocking a door
Winding a clock
Opening and closing jars
Rolling out dough or other simple cooking activities
Washing plastic dishes
Sweeping the floor
When scissors are held correctly, and when they fit a child's hand well, cutting
activities will exercise the very same muscles which are needed to manipulate a pencil
in a mature tripod grasp. The correct scissor position is with the thumb and middle
finger in the handles of the scissors, the index finger on the outside of the handle to
stabilize, with fingers four and five curled into the palm.
Cutting junk mail, particularly the kind of paper used in magazine
Making fringe on the edge of a piece of construction paper.
Cutting play dough or clay with scissors.
Cutting straws or shredded paper.
Use a thick black line to guide cutting the following:
A fringe from a piece of paper
Cut off corners of a piece of paper
Cut along curved lines
Cut lines with a variety of angles
Cut figures with curves and angles
The following activities ought to be done frequently to increase postural muscle
strength and endurance. These activities also strengthen the child's awareness of
Wheelbarrow walking, crab walking
Clapping games (loud/quiet, on knees together, etc.)
Catching (clapping) bubbles between hands
Pulling off pieces of thera-putty with individual fingers and thumb
Drawing in a tactile medium such as wet sand, salt, rice, or "goop".
Make "goop" by adding water to cornstarch until you have a mixture similar
in consistency to toothpaste. The "drag" of this mixture provides feedback to
the muscle and joint receptors, thus facilitating visual motor control.
Picking out small objects like pegs, beads, coins, etc., from a tray of salt,
sand, rice, or putty. Try it with eyes closed too. This helps develop sensory
awareness in the hands.
Research shows that writing things by hand helps memory and learning but using a keyboards doesn't.
My ds used to write diary in nursery/ reception. He used half/ 3/4 of space drawing a picture, and write some sentence with it. He actually loved doing it.
Mrz would you possibly be able to link to the writing by hand research (if you happen to have a link). I would love to read it. Thanks
OP the teacher is correct that your 4.10 year old finds writing difficult that's because most 4.10 year olds little hands aren't ready for it yet. Sheesh.
Please don't spend the holidays doing what your Dc will be doing most of the time during his school days. I would do the fun stuff to help build up the muscles needed to control the pencil and arm to do the writing. If you hop onto most occupational therapy websites they will give you loads of tips how to build these up and how to encourage the correct posture while doing it without having to write anything.
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