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Should our 2, 3 and 4 year olds be forced to write their name


Wendy123
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Been on a recent training course and the people who were running it said that reading comes before witing as listening comes before speaking...

 

So I went back to setting and told staff that we need to concentrate on name recognition first and then when a child knows their name (can read it) then start the writing process. I have also told staff we need to include writing in every area and do lots of gross motor activities and then fine motor activities.

 

I have a level 2 telling me that I am wrong that all the nurseries she knows are sitting children down to write their name at 2 and 3.

 

I dont believe in getting hold off a childs hand and making his hand move for him to write is name or writing over the top of a preprinted name.

I dont see any fun in children so young being 'forcrd' tp write their name.

 

What do others think??

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We definately don't, some of our next school year can write their own names now, some are beginning to form the initial letter and some have no interest what so ever and that's fine too :) like you say activities that encourage gross motor skills and things like pegging, threading, tweezers etc that promote fine motors skills until they show an interest.....I wouldn't be happy that my staff are undermining me but maybe if finances allow you could send that member of staff on the same training you have just attended or at least give her any paperwork you were given on training or a link to some articles on the subject...good luck

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They should be given opportunities to learn to recognise their name in print and to develop the fine and gross motor skills for writing, with a view to writing their name or mark make appropriately to define ownership of their paintings etc.

Four year olds could be encouraged to write their name as a skill for school, including letter formation.

Oppportunities to develop good habits should be encouraged as it is very difficult for children to unlearn bad habits---poor pencil holds etc.

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all the nurseries she knows are sitting children down to write their name at 2 and 3.

may be they are, but just because 'everyone does' it isn't necessarily useful or the best for each child.

From a school perspective it is really useful if children can recognise their names, writing them is a bonus! We do lots of activities around names in September. The worst is having to undo previous learning, often from well-intentioned parents, and unlearn writing names in block capitals!

Stick with it - reading, and then as and when child is interested - they'll learn to write it really quickly when they want too.

Edited by marywilliam
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There's a brilliant article I once read called 'put your pencils down and go and play on the Monkeybars!' which really sums this up.

(may have been on abcdoes)

Childrens coordination and muscle control has to be developed before they can write.

The whole body needs to strong enough to support the body and shoulders and other muscles need to be flexible and strong.

This really was a pivotal wake up call in our setting. We concentrate on activities to develop pre writing skills - not writing skills, hence why we spend a lot of our time climbing trees!

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The words 'writing' and 'two-year-olds' don't go together in my opinion. Young children should be experiencing things like finger paint, textures, sensory play, exploring for themselves not sitting down and 'writing'. Why? For who? It just doesn't make sense to me...

Edited by Stargrower
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I'm amazed that anyone can think that making a 2 year old sit down to write their name is expected/normal!

My son started school in September and has just got the hang of it and even now, gets palmar and pincer grips muddled up (and he's got an 'expert' for a mum!) School have suggested lots of fine motor skill activities to strengthen his movements so pincers, large tweezers to pick things up, using scissors etc.

If children (of any age) show an interest, that's fine and you go with that, but all you should be doing is providing the opportunities for mark making and supporting their development through this; not sitting them down and making them write their names!

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2 year olds writing their name is silly. At that age they need pre writing skills, so lots of manipulative play to strengthen the muscles in order to hold a pen.

 

I've attached an image someone posted on twitter that is the stages of learning to write. Might be useful to show said staff member.

post-49912-0-36321800-1415914458_thumb.jpg

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I agree with others. Gross motor skills first especially for boys whose thumb muscles develop after girls. When I taught in Reception there were some four year olds not ready for writing, never mind two year olds. Too much too young I think.

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Follow the training..do as you have described in your initial post.. . opportunity to mark make everywhere but at their pace and lots of opportunity to develop those muscles needed to control their bodies enough to be able to learn the skill later... unless they show an interest.

As others have said teaching them 'wrong' now can cause more harm than good.. it is really hard to relearn something like this , so many parents 'teach' children to write in capitals and this can cause so many issues later.. we had one child who was still putting capital E mid word for years at school as she had been shown this way by mum but could not unlearn it ..

and that level 2... I would have definitely told her that what happens in other settings has no influence on what we were doing..we make our own decisions on what we believe is best for the child.. not for adult satisfaction which is all that can be gained from 'forcing' this age group to sit and do any activity they are not interested in.

Edited by Inge
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I think any term with "force" in is at odds will all we learn about children development and the way that they learn!!

Our feeder school has actually asked us NOT to show the children how to write as it often means they enter school with bad habbits which they then have to "un learn" which makes a tough job ever tougher! Instead we encourage activites that facilitate a good pincer grip - pegging, threading, finger painting, manipulating materials such as play dough to mention a few and also directional movement for those children who are already beginning to form recognisable letters. I once went to a seminar on mark making by Penny Tassoni who couldn't make it clear enough that in order for children to become proficient writers, who wanted to write, mark making had to be "Joyous". She showed us slides from all over the world of early mark making and those who had had positive early mark experiences had beautiful writing and those that hadn't had writing that was tiny, very difficult to read almost ripping the paper! I really don't think that "force" will produce "joyous" writers"

Edited by Ancaster
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We definately don't, some of our next school year can write their own names now, some are beginning to form the initial letter and some have no interest what so ever and that's fine too :) like you say activities that encourage gross motor skills and things like pegging, threading, tweezers etc that promote fine motors skills until they show an interest.....I wouldn't be happy that my staff are undermining me but maybe if finances allow you could send that member of staff on the same training you have just attended or at least give her any paperwork you were given on training or a link to some articles on the subject...good luck

Unfortunately the training was level 3 and above so she cant go on.

 

My term 'Forcing' was were children were having their hand held and moved to create their name .

The level 2 came out with life isnt fun and they have to do what they are told when I said that our 'writing' activities should be fun.

 

Well after listening to your replies I am going with what I think and have been trained to do.

I have put small clipboards and paper in all the areas and the children have been using them well : )

 

Thanks All!!!

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That's an awful attitude for someone working in childcare.....I would be recording that as evidence, with that attitude you may find encouraging her to show 'good practice' is going to be a constant struggle :(

 

We also have a builders tool bag that has clip board, chalk board, dry wipe board, note pads etc...and different mark making media in pockets around the edge that goes outdoors so there is always mark making to enhance outdoor play to :) but mostly they just love buckets of water and varying sizes of decorators brushes to 'paint' anything and everything :)

Edited by Mouseketeer
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My term 'Forcing' was were children were having their hand held and moved to create their name .

The level 2 came out with life isnt fun and they have to do what they are told when I said that our 'writing' activities should be fun.

 

Well after listening to your replies I am going with what I think and have been trained to do.

I have put small clipboards and paper in all the areas and the children have been using them well : )

 

Thanks All!!!

stick to your guns... life is fun and should be at all ages.

Think my reply would be that if life isn't fun then she will have to accept your decision and follow it through without any further comment and she will have to do as she is told..just the same as as she is expecting the 2yr olds to comply with her wishes... maybe a few more things for her to be told to do .. put her in a situation of learning how off putting it is to be told to do something that has no real meaning.. writing has no meaning whatsoever until they recognise that print has a purpose and are able to understand what it means ..

perhaps she needs a lot more training on child development..

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The level 2 came out with life isnt fun and they have to do what they are told when I said that our 'writing' activities should be fun.

 

 

:o:( Dear goodness - makes me wonder what has gone on in her own life that she should make that statement.......how very sad and totally misguided.......

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Our feeder school has actually asked us NOT to show the children how to write as it often means they enter school with bad habbits which they then have to "un learn" which makes a tough job ever tougher!

I'd be really offended by this and does this mean that you are holding your more able ones back? i had a little boy last year who was writing stories independently before he started school.....he is still at the top of his group with great pencil grip and control!

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No, no and no!!! I think your Level 2 member of staff possibly needs some training on child development then she'll appreciate the skills a child needs before they can write their name. Hand over hand "encouragement" is completely pointless and will just make the child feel like a failure. tart with the gross motor skills and move to fine motor - ABC Does writes about it brilliantly, I hope the following 3 links work:

http://www.abcdoes.com/abc-does-a-blog/2013/09/dough-gym-week-gross-motor-physical-development/

http://www.abcdoes.com/abc-does-a-blog/2013/09/dough-gym-week-fine-motor-physical-development/

http://www.abcdoes.com/abc-does-a-blog/2013/09/dough-gym-week-funky-fingers/

As a part time Reception Teacher, there's nothing worse than having a 4 year old child look at you in September and say "I can't do writing" - this is the legacy of "forcing" children to write before they are developmentally ready.

Rant over and definitely not directed at you! :1b

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