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Writing Name: When Did Your Child Do It?


rellybob
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I'm simply curious. My dd just turned 3, and forming letters is still mostly out of reach. We do gentle pre-writing activities like tracing, and she knows her letters. I honestly wasn't that worried about it until a friend, whose son is 3 months older than my dd, told me her son is writing his name. Granted, her son has always been a bit ahead of the game.

 

So when did your kid start writing his/her name?

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Well, my philosophy is counter to most, so it might not be what you are looking for. I don't worry about teaching my kids to write their names until K. Nor do I worry about whether they can identify their letters or numbers. They know how to count, they sing their ABCs, but I don't formally teach them. (Though some of them have learned them just through playing with things we have around.)

 

From my perspective, it is irrelevant. For others it is a really big deal. But from my perspective it is a simple skill easily mastered later and not reflective on any future level of achievement. For example, my 3 yr old dd uses words like photosynthesis, metamorphosis, and and internalizes info she hears from conversation and will later associate them with things in her own life. For example,my 11 yod is studying deserts. She and I were discussing various forms of plant life and how they survive with little water. A few days later when we were experiencing one of our daily thunderstorms which really scare my3 yr old, she cried that she wanted to live in the desert. I had no idea she was even listening to our conversation. Another example, the other day I took a detour from our normal route due to construction and she yelled from her carseat...."you were supposed to turn left there, not right." Am I worried that she can't write her name? Nope. I could careless. Do I think she is behind other kids bc of it? Definitely not. As a matter of fact, I know she is way ahead of the avg 3 yr old regardless of letter recognition or name writing.

 

Basically I am saying that there isn't much of a correlation between it and future academic ability.

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Well, my philosophy is counter to most, so it might not be what you are looking for. I don't worry about teaching my kids to write their names until K. Nor do I worry about whether they can identify their letters or numbers. They know how to count, they sing their ABCs, but I don't formally teach them. (Though some of them have learned them just through playing with things we have around.)

 

From my perspective, it is irrelevant. For others it is a really big deal. But from my perspective it is a simple skill easily mastered later and not reflective on any future level of achievement. For example, my 3 yr old dd uses words like photosynthesis, metamorphosis, and and internalizes info she hears from conversation and will later associate them with things in her own life. For example,my 11 yod is studying deserts. She and I were discussing various forms of plant life and how they survive with little water. A few days later when we were experiencing one of our daily thunderstorms which really scare my3 yr old, she cried that she wanted to live in the desert. I had no idea she was even listening to our conversation. Another example, the other day I took a detour from our normal route due to construction and she yelled from her carseat...."you were supposed to turn left there, not right." Am I worried that she can't write her name? Nope. I could careless. Do I think she is behind other kids bc of it? Definitely not. As a matter of fact, I know she is way ahead of the avg 3 yr old regardless of letter recognition or name writing.

 

Basically I am saying that there isn't much of a correlation between it and future academic ability.

 

I agree that I'm worrying unnecessarily. I just can't help it!! Lol

I was the last in my K class to count to 100...the last to tie my shoes...etc, but I was an A-B student all through school and went to the State Spelling Bee. So, I know that the super early achievements don't really have a bearing on later academic success. It's just...my dd is my first one, and probably my only one, and I desperately need to make sure I'm doing everything right! Even though I know she's way ahead of other kids with her vocabulary, etc. The curse of the new parent is to worry too much. :)

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Can she read her name?

If not, can she recognize which is the first letter of her name?

Many kids at one point think that all words which have the same first letter as their name, are their name.  Ex: Jane's name starts with a J, so she thinks that jump, jelly, and joke are all the word Jane.

 

There are a variety of fun activities for working on how to spell her name without writing it.  Personally, I would not work on it until she begins trying to write it herself.

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DD was 4. I know plenty of very bright kids who were later though. My 2.5yos aren't even remotely close. They don't know any letters either. The now 5 yo hasn't really mastered counting to 20 (skips 15) and is still convinced that elmeno is a letter that comes between k and p.

 

She's a bright child though, and will do fine. She's just gets stuff in her own sweet time, lol.

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Almost 5, I think, and that was with incorrect capitalization of some letters. He does not like to write or color much.

 

I think he could spell it aloud or build it from tiles at 3 or so, but that's going to depend on what you've named your kid (an Ann will be able to do it before an Elizabeth). DS's name has five letters and so can be sung to "B-I-N-G-O," and I'm sure that helped.

 

He learned the letter names and major sounds right after he turned 2, but guess what? Still doesn't read more than a couple of words in a row, slowly and painstakingly, well over three years later. You can lead a horse to water, but it will drink when it feels thirsty!

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Mine were both 4. We probably could have worked on it sooner, because they could both write when they were 3, but it's just one of those skills I always forget about :). Writing their names...who needs that, lol.

 

Honestly, the only reason mine have learned is because they like to write their names in their math worksheets :)

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Name writing is no indicator of intelligence. Both girls started writing their names around 4 years old. My youngest has great fine motor skills and my oldest excels in math and science. All kids are different!

 

I don't think you need to worry about what the son of your friend is doing. When my oldest was 3ish, my friend's dd (also 3ish) was coloring SOOOO well and getting soooo much praise for it. Well, come to find out, my friend was looking over her shoulder and TELLING her to stay in the lines, color things properly (like green grass, brown for hair and trees, etc) and so forth. I was stunned and learned my lesson on comparing to other kiddos.

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My 3 kids have all done it at different times. My oldest didn't write his name until after he turned 5, just a couple months before he started K at a private school. The school taught him to write his letters. He could read independently and do math, but I wasn't concerned about writing. It came. He writes his name beautifully now, and as of this year (4th grade), even writes it nicely in cursive. ;)

 

My middle son was a bit quicker with the pencil than my oldest. I think he was 4 or 4.5 when he started writing his name. He's been slower to learn to read though.

 

My youngest has been writing his name since he was 3. He's the precocious writer in the family (and left handed to boot!). His fine motor skills in general are a bit crazy. At 3, he could button a button down shirt all by himself. My other kids couldn't do that until 5. My 6.5 year old STILL asks for help with one. Writing is part of that fine motor skill business though. It has nothing to do with intelligence.

 

Be careful about comparing to other kids. Kids vary so widely, especially at this early stage. Also, sometimes other kids are going to be better/smarter/whatever in a certain area (or overall!) than your kid, and that's OK. Intelligence doesn't necessarily equal "great life". There are plenty of really depressed, highly intelligent people in the world. So instead of thinking, "That kid is writing his name... Oh no, my kid is stupid if she's not!", you should be thinking, "Wow, that's great that he's writing his name! I'm so happy for him." See the difference? Nothing to do with your kid. No comparison with your kid.

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All of my kids learned the letters of their name at 3. Just fun simple activities like singing the letters to them to make a special name song. They would also watch me spell it. My dd likes me to gently guide her hand and spell her name. She's no where near writing letters either and honestly at 3 there's no need to worry about forming letters. Around 4-5 a child will naturally begin to show interest in writing. 

 

My 6 year old can spell his first and last name correctly, but in K he would reverse letters or skip letters completely and couldn't really remember his last name. He still can't spell his middle name. 

 

I do teach upper and lower case at the same time, so they learn early to start their name with a capital and the rest in lower case. 

 

I agree not to compare kids. These early years should be looked as a long developmental phase, not yearly skills that a child needs to learn. 

 

One kid may know all the letters and their sounds at 2 or 3 but isn't potty trained. Another 2 or 3 year old is potty trained but couldn't tell you a thing about letters. One 5 year old can ride a bike and tie a shoe, the other can't but is doing a higher grade level of math maybe. 

 

It can be all over the place when they are young. But unless you have some developmental delays/health issues to address, they'll all get there eventually. 

 

 

 

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One of mine didn't learn to write his name until he was 7, but he has a long name. I don't think any of them were writing their names at age 3. Maybe the oldest.

 

don't even start the game of comparing kids to each other, each one is unique and develops on their own time frame. You can find lists of age appropriate development and skills on line if you are unsure about whether your child is within the normal development range

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Writing is a motor skill, not an academic one. My son is the only one of my children who learned to write his name before age 4, and he's the typical 3rd child who is scrambling to keep up with his sisters. My oldest was reading full-length books before she could form the simplest letters.

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When we first tried by her request it was impossible. Went to trying in all CAPS and she did it well mid-three. She turned four in July and is just now starting to get ot in lowercase bit that is with an example in front of her. This is a nine letter name with one repeating letter. Mostly this week she has written it in all CAPS with three or four lowercase letters adding in substitution. At this points I'm delighted with that. The format is also pretty perfect. :) proud mama)

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I am not sure if I completely short-changed my dd3.5 with her name or if it was unintentionally genius. She was desperate to learn to write her name...but her parents saddled her with a total of 4 long names, with as many as 10 letters (1st name) and no fewer than six in all the others:)

 

And I think there are only 3 letters in the alphabet not in her name!

By the time she mastered her name, she had mastered her letters...

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My 3 kids have all done it at different times. My oldest didn't write his name until after he turned 5, just a couple months before he started K at a private school. The school taught him to write his letters. He could read independently and do math, but I wasn't concerned about writing. It came. He writes his name beautifully now, and as of this year (4th grade), even writes it nicely in cursive. ;)

 

My middle son was a bit quicker with the pencil than my oldest. I think he was 4 or 4.5 when he started writing his name. He's been slower to learn to read though.

 

My youngest has been writing his name since he was 3. He's the precocious writer in the family (and left handed to boot!). His fine motor skills in general are a bit crazy. At 3, he could button a button down shirt all by himself. My other kids couldn't do that until 5. My 6.5 year old STILL asks for help with one. Writing is part of that fine motor skill business though. It has nothing to do with intelligence.

 

Be careful about comparing to other kids. Kids vary so widely, especially at this early stage. Also, sometimes other kids are going to be better/smarter/whatever in a certain area (or overall!) than your kid, and that's OK. Intelligence doesn't necessarily equal "great life". There are plenty of really depressed, highly intelligent people in the world. So instead of thinking, "That kid is writing his name... Oh no, my kid is stupid if she's not!", you should be thinking, "Wow, that's great that he's writing his name! I'm so happy for him." See the difference? Nothing to do with your kid. No comparison with your kid.

Don't worry, I do not think my kid is stupid. Far from it!. I do try hard to avoid comparing my dd to other children, as I agree wholeheartedly as to the uselessness of it. I was simply surprised to see him writing him name so early and was curious what other parents had to say. That's all.

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Can she read her name?

If not, can she recognize which is the first letter of her name?

Many kids at one point think that all words which have the same first letter as their name, are their name. Ex: Jane's name starts with a J, so she thinks that jump, jelly, and joke are all the word Jane.

 

There are a variety of fun activities for working on how to spell her name without writing it. Personally, I would not work on it until she begins trying to write it herself.

She recognizes her name, and points out when other words begin with the first letter of her name. She writes letter-like shapes on paper (mostly c's and o's, neither of which are in her name) and proudly shows me her "name." So, she's interested in writing her name, but it seems she isn't quite there with the motor skills to form most of the letters. She loves it when I guide her hand with the pencil to write her name. She has a very good pencil grip too.

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Can I just say that DD10 misspelled her middle name just the other day! :blushing:

 

DD12 was not quite 3, but she was an over achiever.

DD10 was mid-3s, maybe closer to 4 (first name only, it's obvious that her middle name still gives her problems :P.

DS was probably close to 5.  He's still not a writer and he's getting closer to 6.  It's just not something that interests him.

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Ds was around 4.5 but it was pretty sloppy. He rarely does it and might have forgot since then because he hasn't in a while. He still hasn't written all his letters or any numbers yet. I started working with my oldest around 5 on forming letters and that was the perfect time for her. My almost 3 year old isn't even close to writing her name.

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My oldest and youngest were both 3, and my middle was 2.5.  One day she just wrote her name (5 letters) in all caps all over the park in chalk.  That same week she also did it with crayon on paper.  I thought that was really early.  Btw, she could hold a pencil (and spoon) properly at 12 months.  There could be some correlation.

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Um...my dd is 5 and she still doesn't write her name fully and she is still learning her letters and sounds(gasp) :huh: ( maybe that will make you feel better :laugh: )

The funny thing is I don't worry about it one little bit.  I'm starting to work with her on these things for kindergarten.  I guess my philosophy is different.  I just don't believe in starting anything too formal before 5.  I started to casually introduce letters when she turned 4 but that's about it.  Unless I had a child that was begging for it, I honestly just don't think it's necessary IMHO.   I'm in total agreement with 8filltheheart on her philosophy on this.  My dd is quick as a whip (it scares me sometimes lol) and she is so aware of what's around her and picks up on things that surprise me.  Her vocabulary surprises me to!  My point is that I don't see writing their name or knowing all their letters by the time they are 3 as something that will necessarily makes them strong academically later on.

 

I would recommend reading Ruth Beechick the 3 R's.  Might give food for thought.

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I don't teach them their names until first or second grade.

My older 2 weren't interested, and it's not a skill they needed. I know who they are and I know which work is theirs. They aren't signing any contracts or filling out forms, yet, either.

They have to be able to write their names to get a library card in first grade and a driver's license at 16. Somewhere in there, they figure it out. 

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I don't teach them their names until first or second grade.

My older 2 weren't interested, and it's not a skill they needed. I know who they are and I know which work is theirs. They aren't signing any contracts or filling out forms, yet, either.

They have to be able to write their names to get a library card in first grade and a driver's license at 16. Somewhere in there, they figure it out. 

 

LOL. As I first read this, it sounded like you didn't teach them what their names ARE instead of how to write them.  I was boggled.

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Ds was around 5.5-6, he was slow w/ fine motor skills. DD1 was maybe 4, dd 3.5ish is starting to work on it. She wants to do it now but her skills aren't quite there yet. She asks me to help her write it but she cannot remember how to form the letters. She has started tracing letters though and recognizes the first letter of her name.

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My youngest just wrote his name for the first time right after his 3rd birthday. He doesn't understand that they should be left to right - he'll write T, then i, then m, but they might be high to low or curling in a circle or whatever. 

 

My older boys didn't write their names with lower case until 4.5 when their pre-k teacher forced them to learn it that way. I suspect they were 4 before they wrote them at all, but I can't remember exactly.

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I assume you meant only first name?  My kids took a lot longer to write their full names.  Not actually sure if one of them knows how to spell her middle name (she is going on 7).

 

My kids could spell their names at 2 (or maybe younger), because I made little rhyme songs out of the letters.  But recognizing the names in writing was much later.  My eldest could write her name about a year before she would recognize it in print.  But then, she has vision issues, so that could be why.

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That was so insignificant I couldn't possibly tell you when my girls, now 17,15 and 8 did that. Is that something people keep track of these days?

 

I also chose to follow Ruth Beechick's advice and teach them letter sounds first, then after they were reading competently, I taught them the letter names, for all the reasons she lists.

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So far, sometime during the age of 5. However, my dd#2 still sometimes prints the first letter of her middle name backwards (mirror image). This & a habit of printing random letters as capitals in the middle of words is why I ask her to use cursive all the time. Ds#1 prints his all in caps, but we haven't done any handwriting yet. Hopefully, he'll switch to cursive once we've learned all the letters for his name.

 

It isn't a focus for us.

 

... but that's going to depend on what you've named your kid (an Ann will be able to do it before an Elizabeth). 

 

I don't know that this is necessarily the case. I have four kids so far who can write their names. One has a short name. Two have medium length names. One has a long name. No noticeable difference in when they wrote them. 

 

On a side note, my mom was convinced by the books of the day & several "wise" friends that I'd be a stupid kid (way down the birth line & born when she was 'old'), so that's why I'm named "Ann" instead of "Elizabeth." She didn't think I'd be able to spell Elizabeth until third grade. That story was told to me repeatedly over the years since I was very small & is still repeated to this day.  :smash:

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On a side note, my mom was convinced by the books of the day & several "wise" friends that I'd be a stupid kid (way down the birth line & born when she was 'old'), so that's why I'm named "Ann" instead of "Elizabeth." She didn't think I'd be able to spell Elizabeth until third grade. That story was told to me repeatedly over the years since I was very small & is still repeated to this day.  :smash:

 

That's hilarious!  I remember when I was in college and learned all that "wisdom" about how the lower your birth order is, and the higher number of siblings you have, and the poorer you are, the less education your parents have, etc., the dumber you'll be.  I laughed a lot about that.  In our family, for the most part, the IQs went up as the birth order went down.  ;)  Of course we should have all been blithering idiots.

 

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My oldest could write hers at 3.5, but a misspelled version that she swore was correct.  But my second is 4.5 and still has pretty poor eye-hand coordination and doesn't have the faintest idea how to spell her name.  DD1's name is 7 letters long but has a few repeating letters within it which made the misspelling make more sense, and DS's name is 9 letters long.

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That's hilarious! I remember when I was in college and learned all that "wisdom" about how the lower your birth order is, and the higher number of siblings you have, and the poorer you are, the less education your parents have, etc., the dumber you'll be. I laughed a lot about that. In our family, for the most part, the IQs went up as the birth order went down. ;) Of course we should have all been blithering idiots.

 

 

I am in trouble with my 3 yod. I have a feeling that she got all of the strengths of all of my kids wrapped up in one little package. She is by far the most advanced any of my kids have ever been. Not sure how that is even the slightest bit possible. She was our 9th baby. Surely all the "good genes" and "healthy nutrients" in my body were used up by the time I had her in my mid-40s!

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My kids wrote their names before they were three.  That is purely because they want to label all their personal belongings so that the other sibling don't lay siege to it. They learn how to write their names in English and Chinese before they could write all the lowercase letters.

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LOL. As I first read this, it sounded like you didn't teach them what their names ARE instead of how to write them.  I was boggled.

 

We just assigned them numbers and call them by those. It helps develop their math skills. 

 

Just kidding! They have totally normal name, and we use them. Even their middle names. I just don't put a lot of effort into teaching them to write their names. 

I did actually have to work with my oldest. He has a long name and learning problems. He could write Ben, but not the whole 15 letter first and last. But he was 8 or so, and just hadn't picked it up. 

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