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Hi

I have been working for about 6 months in a pre-school and we are just starting to look at letters and sounds...only 5 mins ...card with A a and then pictures apple , ant etc so nothing really heavy (in fact majority are just too young to notice or are just wanting to get off and play!). The children are asked/encouraged to write their own name on things etc.

 

Now im also a parent of a 4 year old boy who attends the pre-school with me and has just started school in the afternoons. He will be full time after xmas. He has never showed any interest in letters etc, likes for us to read to him every night, but still not interested in writing etc. In fact I have been having trouble getting him to hold pencil properly but the TA at school has shown him a "flick trick" and boy he's got it :o . School are now doing letter sounds with him (know this from home-school diary) but to be honest I was just glad that the TA said he had settled in really nicely! The other thing that worries me is that he is quite a whizz on the PC and insists on writing his name in capitals as shown on the keyboard. We have tried to show him how to write his name in lower case but he knew how to spell it out on the keyboard and so just copied it! I have never made a big thing about this as I really didnt want to interfere with the way school will teach him (to be honest was just glad at the time that he wanted to write it xD rather than go off and be a superhero :( ).

 

I am now hoping that I havent made a big mistake. I have really left it down to him to do what he wants and when when it comes to letters etc as I have heard that it can put children off. Admittedly this is new for me as my other child is a 10 yr old girl and was she different :( . By my sons age she was at the very early stages of reading :( . I suppose second time round I am more relaxed and less pushy! Or do you think I should be doing more?

 

Can anyone here tell me what they encourage children to do when they just start in reception? Im not sure I was expecting this so suddenly but then I do feel like the children he is at school with are more confident writers etc from being at private day nursery compared to my pre-school (some attend the pre-school one day per week so I see them there) Are they doing more of this type of thing in private nurseries than pre-school? Would be interested to know.

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Not an expert by a long shot -but I know that the most recent research shows that children don't need to be in formal education as early as we start them - hence the EYFS (gentle push) - to be successful. Boys are also less keen than girls when it comes to writing. I would let your son write however he wants and not worry about his handwriting when he is expressing himself. I really believe that putting pressure on children to improve their handwriting hampers their creativity and expression. Surely handwriting should be a separate issue. Would be really interested to hear other opinions about this!

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I agree with EYFS too. Think that it is best to learn through play and in fact in the Scandanavian countries they dont start school until 7. Of course it could be down to parents as well. Do you think we as parents are pushing our children more and more? I see so many examples of this.

 

One example that horrified me was my husbands cousin got her 3 year old boy to read outloud on Xmas day. I think I was more horrified by this than anything else :o She is actually a junior school teacher?!

 

We had a parent in asking how at pre-school we were reading with her son. He is 3 years old and can read. The supevisor was a bit dumbfounded. She said that we encourage the children to sit and look at books, sound out letters, write their names etc but that the whole point was "learning through play"!. Did this parent actually think that we could do a 1:1 with him and help him with his reading?

 

In both of the above cases both boys did not have great social skills and both find it hard to mix with their peers (do you think this could be in anyway related?)

 

Im all for EYFS principles Im just not sure some of the parents are!

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Hi

As a reception teacher I'd be glad at the moment that he's settling in and showing a bit of an interest in his name and his letters. I wouldn't worry about his writing in capitals as whatever gets 'em interested is good for me!

 

He sounds just right - in my class we've got a range from a couple of perfect name writers (with their surnames too!) and a few who just write their name with scribbles or wiggles.

We're starting looking at letters and introducing them in short, fun activities and I'm sure you son's school is too. With Letters and Sounds they recommend that you introduce a few then get blending them to read cvc words straight away.

 

Don't worry! (Although I know now having young children myself that that's pretty impossible! :o )

Quick aside - my 3 yr old is suddenly interested in writing her name in birthday cards and I write it on a seperate piece of paper to copy. When it gets to the r she refuses to write it in lower case and does a captial as her older sister's name starts with R and to her that's how you write it - not the way that silly Mummy does it!

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From working in private nurseries I would work with each individual child at their level - if they show an interest i.e. they are sitting in the mark making area on a regular basis, support their interest by finding the letter that starts their name, sounding out other letters, encouraging them to make marks etc... If there are children that are showing limited interest (usually the boys, I'm afraid) I would tap into what they are interested in at that time and set up scenarios to encourage them to make marks.

 

If your son is a current superhero, try getting him to draw a map of the route that he took when he rescued someone, or write a shopping list of food that a group of superheros would need for lunch, writing invites for other superheros to attend a party.... And I don't think that using a computer is such a bad thing either if her is starting to recognise letters in this way although it may confuse him a bit, he will be surrounded by lower case letters at school and will just have to make the connection between the two, with your support and encouragement.

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Thanks for that guys! You've put my mind at rest..

 

Running bunny Im just starting to use this stratedgy at pre-school...trying to get "the boys" (my son being one of them) interested in mark making activities. They are fine when its on "their terms" eg we had set up a den made out of rugs and the climbing frame. One boy said it was his shop. I asked him to make me a list of what he sells in his shop so I could decide what to buy....

 

We have also be doing hand prints for the xmas tea towel fund raiser...mine did not want to do it no matter what the supervisor said! I then came up with the idea that if he did a hand print it would be a record so that like all superheros he could use his handprint to enter any closed doors leading to secret passage ways....he was there like a shot :o

 

Must say its getting my imagination going on a different level!

 

To be honest I would love to see what these boys are like at school xD They never sit still :( Mind you my son always comes home talking about the TA has said this and they should do that so he is taking it all on board. Perhaps he is moving on now from the pre-school.

 

I just find the whole thing fascinating especially the differences in the way girls and boys behave. My husband is secondary teacher and a few years ago he went on a course that explained all of this. Very interesting how the sexes see things and learn in completely different ways (majority anyway!)

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