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Writing. DC in reception

(10 Posts)
PhoenixReisling Sun 12-Jun-16 20:03:16

DC have just turned five years old, so are summer born. Prior to starting reception, DC could not write nor had any interest in colouring in (although enjoyed things like play doh and painting).

Since starting reception, although writing has not been great I have noticed more enthusiasm in colouring in, writing cards and more recently DC will write a story when I read a book.

Recently, I was approached and told that the writing was a real concern. The teacher stated, that although a word can be read, DC then do not then copy the word out (they follow read,write inc)....

From my own observations, it's like DC forget how to begin to write a letter, but once shown are ok. They also can be reluctant if they can't do it straight away and can have a touch of lazy-I-tus.

Just so not as to drip feed, the DC reading and numeracy skills are good and they have no issues with coordination/behaviour (I say this as I have worked with children with dyspraxia).

Any advice.

catkind Mon 13-Jun-16 00:38:56

Um, they're very young? I have one who was the same, though a little older in the year; couldn't hold a pencil at the beginning of reception and found writing difficult throughout. I think part of the problem is, if they're still working on holding a pencil and doing basic strokes, some of the initial teaching of letter formation can pass them by a bit, leaving them playing catch-up. If yours are voluntarily writing stories, they're doing more than DS was.

When you were approached, what did they say they were going to do about it in school? If they didn't say, maybe ask for a meeting and ask what they are doing and what they would like you to do at home to support it. They're the professionals after all.

That said, most improvements in DS writing have been in the summer holidays. We don't do a lot, but 5 minutes a day 1:1 can do wonders. (Then he drops back into bad habits in school when he's not being watched...) It's unoriginal but we did/do summer diaries. One sentence and a picture. Could be any kind of mini-project though really, whatever they are interested in. And stuff like practicing letter shapes huge with a finger in the air, in a sandpit, paintbrush and water on a wall, whatever comes to hand.

LifeIsGoodish Mon 13-Jun-16 01:12:19

At this time of the year there are still plenty of Reception children who cannot write fluently. This getting stuck starting the letter is very common. The fact that he is showing greater interest in mark-making, and that his literacy skills are developing, are excellent signs.

My G&T autumn-born 15yo was as you describe in the summer term of Reception. His handwriting is still bad, but legible enough for the content to be clear.

irvineoneohone Mon 13-Jun-16 09:14:04

Dot to dot, color by numbers, maze, tracing, letter formation work books, diary, etc.
Like catkind says, you can improve massively over summer. Just don't make it a chore, do it as a fun activity, and 5 mins a day makes a big difference.

PhoenixReisling Mon 13-Jun-16 09:35:53

Thank you to everyone that has replied and for the suggestions.

I posted as the reception teacher actually asked me to get a referral from the GP shock. Like Pp have said the GP was like hmm. He asked the DC to write their name (which was written very small and lediable) and cut along a straight line with a pair of stiff medical scissors. He said based upon this and the taking their age into account, he said he would not refer the DC.

I spoke to the school regarding this assessment and now they have asked that I try and get are referral via the HV!

redskytonight Mon 13-Jun-16 10:26:14

Some children develop fine motor movements later. DS could scarcely manage to write out all the letters in anything approaching a legible way by the end of Reception - and not for want of trying - he just physically couldn't do it. He "caught up" pretty quickly.

catkind Tue 14-Jun-16 02:04:42

Sorry, I may be confused, is it one DC of unspecified gender, or twins?

Is it definitely fine motor skills that they are concerned about? Seems to me that whether they know letter formation or not is a bit of a red herring if the concern is fine motor skills. Can they do other fine motor type activities in school that don't involve writing?

Perhaps you could ask the teacher to write a letter outlining their reasons for concern for you to take to the HV.

SaltyMyDear Tue 14-Jun-16 04:55:29

School asking you to take him to GP / HV for something that isn't a problem because it's well within the normal spectrum is weird, upsetting and wrong.

Is it a very pushy school? Is it state or private?

Do you have any other concerns about the school?

To me it sounds like the school has a problem. Not your DC.

It is fine for school to mention it. Fine for them to ask you to do extra practice. Not fine for them to claim it's a medical problem that needs investigating.

ComaToes Tue 14-Jun-16 09:31:11

Seems odd to me. Is it a particularly academic / pushy school?

My Reception child started off without a tripod grip (nursery tried, she resisted, we agreed to leave it) and is now able to write a couple of very short sentences. But her letters often aren't on the line, she sometimes doesn't form them correctly (no starting flicks, or she adds them afterwards), finger spaces are mostly there but not always. Her teacher is happy with her progress - she's definitely not one of the best writers but she's not in the 'extra help' group.

BertPuttocks Tue 14-Jun-16 10:43:23

Your DC isn't much older than my DD was when she started school (Autumn birthday).

She could just about write her name but that was all, and no-one thought that this was anything other than typical for a child of her age.

I think the teacher is possibly only thinking of the DC as "a child near the end of their Reception year" whereas the GP is quite rightly thinking of them as "a child who has only just had their 5th birthday".

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