Penmanship for a 3.5yo - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 07-30-2010, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3.5yo has become interested in writing her name, the name of family members, etc... I show her the "correct way" to write these things. She ends up with recognizable letters, but not made the "correct way." For example:
When making an uppercase A, she draws an H and then uses another line to attach the two tops of the H to make an A, if that makes any sense. It obviously looks like an A, but it uses more lines than convention dictates. I don't really want to do some penmanship curriculum or anything. I don't care if she learns to write now. I just worry about her developing bad habits that she will take with her when she's older. Should I just let her make her letters however she wants? Or should I encourage to make the letters correctly, and it will fix itself as she ages? (For what it's worth, I have horrible penmanship.)
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#2 of 8 Old 07-30-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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My DS was the same way and I did end up picking up HWTears Pre-K for him and we just did it when he wanted to. I worried about doing too much 'damage' by letting him just write without any 'instruction' of sorts. I didn't care one way or another about him writing at that age, but wanted to make sure that when he did, he was doing it properly for the most part. (starting the letters from the correct position, etc)

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#3 of 8 Old 07-30-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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I took the opposite approach, DD started writing before she turned 3.. Some letters and number she could do perfectly and others were... unrecognizable to me. We tried at first to show her how to write them correctly and she just grew frustrated. Finally we decided that the point was really to get her interested in it.. I picked up a couple of workbooks that had some line drawing (more learning to master the process between head and paper) and I let her have it, only giving her feedback when she asked it.

She's 4.5 now and while she still has some trouble with numbers, she can write all of her letters. My goal was to make it enjoyable rather than pushing her to do it "right".

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#4 of 8 Old 07-31-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nov05mama View Post
My DS was the same way and I did end up picking up HWTears Pre-K for him and we just did it when he wanted to. I worried about doing too much 'damage' by letting him just write without any 'instruction' of sorts. I didn't care one way or another about him writing at that age, but wanted to make sure that when he did, he was doing it properly for the most part. (starting the letters from the correct position, etc)
I don't know that I'd worry about that too much. In HWT they talk about it a bit. The gist of it being that sort of environmental writing isn't harmful. I believe they talk about it in the Pre-K teacher's guide.

OP - I'd also suggest HWOT Pre-K. It's cheap enough that you could get the student workbook and the teacher's guide. There are all sorts of other pieces that they sell...some of which you could make yourself and some of which you could probably skip altogether.
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#5 of 8 Old 07-31-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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My child started writing letters like that but now she writes them normally. I have no idea why. I mean, I always modeled the lines for her, but when she was first starting she definitely took some shortcuts / easy-cuts.

I only emphasized verbally what I was doing: up this way, down this way, and across the middle! Slowly she did it more and more typically.

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#6 of 8 Old 07-31-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by boigrrrlwonder View Post
I just worry about her developing bad habits that she will take with her when she's older. Should I just let her make her letters however she wants? Or should I encourage to make the letters correctly, and it will fix itself as she ages? (For what it's worth, I have horrible penmanship.)
Personally, I wouldn't worry about developing bad habits at 3.5. I would make sure she has alphabets to look at around and let her little brain will make the connections of how to make them correctly when it's ready!

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#7 of 8 Old 08-04-2010, 11:16 PM
 
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My dd was the same way. We chose not to correct her unless she asked if it was correct. Otherwise we might say something like, that looks nice.

She is now 5 1/2 and has really nice handwriting for her age, imo. She knows all of her numbers, uppercase and I would say 70% of her lowercase.

We also never used those 3 lined papers, we will be doing HWT this year but I think not bugging her about it helped her really stay interested in "writing"
*mainly to practice writing on a line. I am just getting the workbook and extra paper.

now she does want them to be "correct"

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#8 of 8 Old 08-05-2010, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rockportmama View Post
Personally, I wouldn't worry about developing bad habits at 3.5. I would make sure she has alphabets to look at around and let her little brain will make the connections of how to make them correctly when it's ready!
ditto. My kids all tried writing at around 4 and it was done in their own style. IMO there is no 'correct' way, if they want to start their A at the top instead of the bottom, for ex. Or short-cut as your daughter is.

To me the point is to suport their attempts and trust in their bodies. Now at 7 and 10 their writing is fine. It's not curly or pretty, it's just block writing. I can understand their notes, letters, and to me that is the goal.

And if it comes up, ditto to writing numbers. All my kids wrote certain numbers and letters backwards (3, S, 4 9 . ..) and it's fine. I never corrected them. They see me writing cards, the grocery list, they see how it's 'supposed' to look. My correcting would just be shutting down their own attempts and pride in their own efforts.

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