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When/how do you teach writing


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Liam cant write letters... which I dont care and just plan to use curriculum that does not REQUIRE it this coming year for preschool but wondered....


Will it just happen that one day that he can write letters?


Would we be behind if we did another full year of prewriting?


Weve just gone on the fly this year and donewhat he is thriving on -letter identifying,some letter sounds,cutting lines, coloring, glueing, lots and lots of reading, and working on counting and patterns with pattern blocks.


Weve done LOTS of worksheets and lapbooks on various topics and made some bigger projects on things hes fanatical about (several solar system models and lots of things on astronomy)


but my kid cant draw/trace a straight line to save his life.


beyond worsheets that practice straight, curvy, and zigzag lines what can I do :confused:

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My children enjoyed drawing in shaving cream when they were smaller & they learned to write their letters this way. We also used sidewalk chalk, a pan of rice, glued beans to paper to create letters, created an alphabet book, etc.


In kindergarten, we started using Handwriting without Tears. I believe they have a preschool level as well with manipulatives to make it engaging and age appropriate.




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Keep working the things you've been working, and do a lot of sky writing, writing in sand/rice/shaving cream. He'll get there. Is he 3? In another year, you'll probably see an increase in fine motor skills. Thankfully, you don't have to write in order to learn how to read. :)


I also recommend HWT program. You do want to teach letter formation, so he won't just copy letters any old way. Easier to teach the correct way in the first place than to have to fix bad habits later on. But practice that formation using the aforementioned methods before putting pencil to paper.


Also, when he's coloring, make sure he has a proper grip.

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I think it will just come. My oldest knew letter sounds and was sounding out CVC words far before she could grip a pencil and write letters. She could write her name, but only because it is short and the letters are fairly simple to form. At 4.5 we're seeing an explosion of letter-writing and I'm at a point where we're making sure that they are being formed properly.


My son is your son's age and we are doing a lot of coloring of the letters, doing these pages with do-a-dots and really familiarizing ourselves with the letter shapes. He is much more of a hands-on learner so he's loving it. My oldest, however, didn't care as much about these types of activities (we did them, but she already knew all the stuff so it was just fun activity).


I guess, what I'm saying, is it will probably come...and each kid is different. :D

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I'll give you my experiences with our three kiddos.


At age 3, Thing 1 was doing elaborate puzzles and games, and reading and figuring out math on his own. (We supported him, but never "taught" these things.) He hated anything that involved a crayon or pencil, and I never pushed it, thinking it would come with time. It didn't, and we're paying for it now. His fine motor skills were good, but it turns out that he had a bad pencil grip. In addition, the Calvert curriculum we were working with in K didn't offer much in the way of writing instruction until the end of the K year -- of course, they were expecting the kids to write letters and words at the beginning of the year. Needless to say, I did things differently with Thing 2.


Thing 2, at age 3, liked painting and using crayons. She was The Great Circle Artist. She never wanted to write letters, so I didn't push. This year, in K, we had a similar experience to yours where I had a hard time getting her to understand how to make letters. It was difficult for her to do anything that involved angles -- she was great with C/c and O/o, though! ;) Our nemeses were K/k and g -- the g has just finally clicked, after five months of trying. I was seriously concerned that it was some sort of visual perception issue and that she would need professional help, but using lots of tracing was helpful. I did more dedicated handwriting training in K with Thing 2, but then again, she needed it. Thing 1 could follow the example, it was just laborious.


Now Thing 3 is 3 years old, and she loves coloring. She surprised us the other day by making the numbers 1, 2, and 3, and she's quite good at writing many letters. I have never taught her anything. She just likes to copy what she sees. The other day she said, "Mommy, is the E the one with two sticks or three sticks?" (Her name starts with E.) I suspect that we will work on letters next year, just because she thinks it's so much fun.


In addition, my cousin's 3yo is printing beautifully, and she is almost entirely self-taught. (Mom answers questions for direction, but has never set out to teach printing.)


I guess what I'm saying is that of four children, three of whom live in my house and have had the same level of direction (hands off) at age 3, we have four different experiences. I think it is naive to say either that "a child will teach himself" or that "a child needs careful training" when it comes to learning to write. Children are adept at and interested in different things. Some will have an easier time than others when learning a certain skill.


If I were you, I would keep up the low-pressure routine. I second boscopup in saying that you should keep an eye on the pencil/crayon grip. If that is a problem, triangular crayons and triangular pencil grips have proved very helpful to us -- it's much harder to hold a triangle incorrectly, although it's still possible, as Thing 1 proved to me!


Also, when you are ready to teach writing, find a writing system that introduces letters by the type of letter rather than in ABC order. HWT does this well, although I detested the actual font they used. (Their handwriting program was much better than their manuscript print, I thought.) Introducing one kind of letters at a time helps to build on the common skill set (round letters, straight letters, bumps, whatever). If/when you do start to teach writing, do it in that order, rather than ABC order.


Good luck, and I hope this all just "clicks" for him one day -- it's so much easier that way! ;)



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It'll come.


Like pp have said, sky writing, shaving cream, cornmeal, etc are great pre-writing activities. Playdough is also a good one (forming letters from playdough), and it helps strengthen those writing muscles. Mazes are also good for pre-writing skills. Kumon has some that are designed specifically for this purpose.




You might also try lacing cards, stringing beads and buttons, etc. This helps to build finger dexterity. At this early age, there's more to writing letters than holding a pencil. Muscles need to be strengthened; fine motor skills need to grow.


I wouldn't worry at this point. As a former pre-school teacher, when ds turned 3 I determined it was time to learn scissor skills. Ds disagreed. Adamantly. I finally gave up, and ya know what? Right after that 4th birthday he picked up the scissors and was cutting things like he'd been doing it his whole life! It had to happen on his developmental time-table. I think you'll find the same is true with your ds' writing. Just be patient.


I think most kids start writing letters around age 4.5 - 5. Until then, continue your pre-writing activities. If he starts writing on his own before that, well, you'll know he's ready for a little more. JMHO! :D

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