Now blogging at THIS SIMPLE HOME.

Now blogging at THIS SIMPLE HOME.

At This Simple Home

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pre-writing Skills

M is 3 years, 4 months.  She LOVES to trace her name.  However it is pretty difficult to read what she writes unless you already know what her name is.  We had her sign all of her classmates' and grandparents' Valentine Day cards to make it purposeful, but she does like to just do it for fun, too.  I wonder if the other parents thought I was crazy to do it, since only one (a 4 year old with nice writing and 3 letters in her name) of her classmates did the same.   At this point  we don't have her write any other letters/numbers, but we do ask her to draw lines, circles, rainbows, and smiley faces at times when she seems in the mood.  Using a variety of materials definitely motivates M.  Chalk, paint, and markers are her favorite.

To trace her name, we do what her preschool teacher recommended.  We use a highlighter/light colored marker and write her name in all capital letters with paper in the "landscape" position.  Then she traces it.  The reason this is thought to be better than tracing dashes is so that the child (at this age) sees the letters as a whole.  I really do agree that it seems effective!

We have two books that also assist with prewriting skills.  (We just wish something could help us with her left-handedness.)  The first is a workbook called Kumon's My First Book of Tracing (Ages 2-4).

 The other is My First Wipe Clean Farm (by DK).  This is a board book and M's preference (shown above with M).  Though the marker no longer works, we just use our dry erase markers.  There are several books in this series.
In another month or so we will probably start tracing all letters (1-2 at a time) just to help with her fine motor skills.

If you have any suggestions for helping a left-handed little girl and her parents, please share your thoughts!


Melissa said...

thank you for your suggestions. My 4 year old is great with drawing and some shapes. He is trying his letters diligently, but gets frustrated so easily.

Miller Moments said...

Hmmm, I never thought about the dashes taking away from seeing the letters as a whole. I like that. Eli wrote his Valentines this year too and even though he only has three letters in his name, it still was a little tough to read.

Raising a Happy Child said...

We are more or less on the same path. We have the same books, and I just ordered Kumon's Write-and-Wipe cards for capital characters. Kumon also has the book for writing letters, which I leafed through to determine sequence of letters to teach. They recommend to start with letters that have only straight lines - such as L, T, H, etc. Anna can write her own name (two letters, after all :), but her interest sort of comes and goes - fine motor control is not her strong point even though she is totally right-handed.

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