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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ds is 3. He's been reading for a while, and is interested in writing now. He figured out how to write almost all of the letters, and asks how to spell certain words as he's at his table drawing. I have shown him how to do a few of the letters, but mostly he has made up his own way, e.g., a "Y" is a line down, then two lines up, stemming from the middle. "P" is a line down, and a full circle at the top. I think it's great, but I'm wondering if I should show him the right ways to do it, in case this is setting up a habit for writing letters that way. It might be harder for him to learn the "right" way in a few years when they're teaching it in school (don't get me started on whether he'll be incrediby bored in school, etc.! Different thread!). Or, will he just pick it up by watching us write? We hardly ever write though in this computer age!
 

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I wonder the same thing. At this point, anytime I try to correct DD, she shuts down and loses interest. I hope I am not totally ruining her for later by letting her do it her own way now. But wrong over nothing, though, I figure.
 

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My DD is 3, and I'm just allowing her to write things however she can. That means the letter E has multiple lines across, LOL! She rights her letter Y's exactly as does your little boy, reezly. Despite her crazy way of writing, most of her letters are legible. As with Maraina, if I get in the way and try to correct things, my DD shuts down. I think it's better to let them do it their way for now....when they are older, they will either become better or more interested in copying letters in the way that we make them. Or they will be mature enough to understand why good handwriting is needed at an older age. I find that my DD refines how she does things, and becomes more exacting over time, anyway.<br><br>
xoe
 

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I've had 2 and 3 year old writers and I can honestly say that this sort of thing self-corrects. Over time, the handwriting gets smaller and more lined up, the E's lose all those extra lines, etc. It's easy to forget, when you have an advanced child, that 3 is still very young to write and there are maturity issues just like with other children. At 3, I would leave it be and let the child continue to explore on his own and build confidence with this new skill. Your child will work it out over time. Have you ever seen an adult write with huge wobbly letters and make capital Es with lots of lines? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> It will work itself out.<br><br>
Now the one thing that I did notice with one of mine at 3 that is still an issue at nearly 7 is pen grip. He has always held his pen/crayon/pencil in a very uncoventional way and he strongly resisted correction. He had very precocious drawing skills and he's an excellent artist but I'm completely bewildered as to how he does it with his pen in between his fingers (i.e. 2 fingers on each side of the pen). My youngest, OTOH, used a regular pen grip at 2 and still has a great pen grip.<br><br>
I don't regret staying out of my oldest 3 year old's way BUT I wish I had intervened on pen grip closer to 5. It was hard to tell if it was typical developmental immaturity as you see with many toddlers or if it was something that wouldn't self-correct (the latter in our case). I need to buy him some of those triangular pen grips that help the hand hold the pen correctly. But now that he's been writing for almost 4 years, I wonder if it's one of those things that has become very habitual already. I still would have left him and his wobbly letters alone but I wish I had bought one of those pen grips earlier.<br><br>
Anyway, letter formation simply comes with practice and maturity. It will come. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I don't think my ds is gifted but he wrote his letters the same way at 3. He just turned 4 and is just starting to write the "right" way. He just learned from copying me I think.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LeftField</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10768335"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've had 2 and 3 year old writers and I can honestly say that this sort of thing self-corrects. Over time, the handwriting gets smaller and more lined up, the E's lose all those extra lines, etc. It's easy to forget, when you have an advanced child, that 3 is still very young to write and there are maturity issues just like with other children. At 3, I would leave it be and let the child continue to explore on his own and build confidence with this new skill. Your child will work it out over time. Have you ever seen an adult write with huge wobbly letters and make capital Es with lots of lines? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> It will work itself out.<br><br>
Now the one thing that I did notice with one of mine at 3 that is still an issue at nearly 7 is pen grip. He has always held his pen/crayon/pencil in a very uncoventional way and he strongly resisted correction. He had very precocious drawing skills and he's an excellent artist but I'm completely bewildered as to how he does it with his pen in between his fingers (i.e. 2 fingers on each side of the pen). My youngest, OTOH, used a regular pen grip at 2 and still has a great pen grip.<br><br>
I don't regret staying out of my oldest 3 year old's way BUT I wish I had intervened on pen grip closer to 5. It was hard to tell if it was typical developmental immaturity as you see with many toddlers or if it was something that wouldn't self-correct (the latter in our case). I need to buy him some of those triangular pen grips that help the hand hold the pen correctly. But now that he's been writing for almost 4 years, I wonder if it's one of those things that has become very habitual already. I still would have left him and his wobbly letters alone but I wish I had bought one of those pen grips earlier.<br><br>
Anyway, letter formation simply comes with practice and maturity. It will come. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Overall, I have stayed out of DS's way when it comes to writing (among other things). I subscribe to the school of thinking where correction = confidence issues. DS is not one to take direction, prefers to find his own way, and in the rare case I might suggest something, he's not shy about letting me know that "he still learning!" 3 is young. Self-correction in time is more than likely, your strongest ally.<br><br>
My DS also has uncommon grip, but it clearly works for him so... He has been drawing well ahead of age level since he first picked up a crayon (one of his "gifts"). His writing has self-corrected through the years and at 7, he is now coming to self-correct some of the letters he's consistently written backwards. Truly, in most things, kids "get it" in time. I have found the best thing is to model it properly, give advice ONLY when asked, and wait. Allow them to develop on the schedule and in the way that works best for them.<br><br>
Indeed, the computer age leaves us with less "modeling" opportunities, but even so if you really look closely you'll see there is a lot out there for a child to grab onto. Especially if you are reading to them regularly. I'm a HUGE note writer! I do believe DS's connection to writing came directly out of drawing... hence, he loves to draw silly and "fancy" on purpose but can also manage more "serious" writing when he's labeling items on a picture he's drawn, etc. He even has his own "cursive" that he's practiced for years. Funny, it's hard to think about when he would have seen cursive, but like I said, the opportunities to "see" writing are more than you think. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Lately, I've been hit with how many things DS has "self-corrected" on, how much of life he understands now, how much he can do WITHOUT me. I love that with most everything, he's made his way there on his own timeline. It's a lovely process to watch unfold... enjoy.<br><br>
The best,<br>
Em
 

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Does he really want to write, or just spell words? We have a few manipulative letters that DD can use to spell words even though her hand is not strong enough to form letters well. That seems to meet her need to spell.
 

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Well, I think you should approach it much as you would grammar or pronunciation, at that age. Typically a 3 year old will say runned instead of ran. Generally they say we should model the correct form, but not explicitly correct them, right? They get it eventually.<br>
I assume that the same would hold for writing. I'm sure your DC sees letters correctly formed in print, and in your writing, when his motor control allow, he will probably adjust his letters to suit.
 

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I don't think I would correct at 3, but I would keep an eye on it. My son is 5 and while he can write, due to his grip, he doesn't have very good control over the pencil at times and so he has a hard time forming letters and numbers. Especially curves. He sees other people write all the time, but he makes no move to correct his grip. If he was showing improvement in his letter and numbers, I might just leave it, but at 5, and with the fact that he's been writing for over a year, with little improvement, I think I'm going to have to make a real effort at correcting it.
 

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My ds just started writing a couple weeks ago and he actually asks for correction. For the most part, he wants to know how to make the letters the "proper" way...with the exception of his uppercase R which looks like a circle being supported by two legs. (he is quite happy with that one and likes how it looks, lol)<br><br>
I have read different accounts...some saying to let them go and explore, and others saying that it is hard to un-learn bad habits, but in my opinion it depends on the child. Some kids will shut down if they are corrected and others are more open to it.<br><br>
With my dd, any attempt at gentle guidance or correction caused self-doubt and had the potential to stifle her exploration. With my ds, he responds well to guidance and correction, so it is easier to step in with a "hey buddy, do you want me to show you another way to make your Y's?"<br><br>
Luckily my ds has figured out the proper pencil grip, as my dd still holds her pencil between her middle and ring finger. I tried to correct her grip from a very young age and she was very resistant. She would cry about how weird it felt when I would attempt to have her use a pencil grip or just alter her own grip without a device. I finally let it go as her writing was fine, and her teachers have agreed that it isn't really an issue as long as they can write well. I am guessing that in a few years they'll be typing nearly everything anyway.
 

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I tend to agree with correcting the grip but not the letter formation. My DD is 4 and makes many of her letters "wrong" too; I don't stress about that, but I am keeping an eye on her (also "wrong") grip.
 

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<b>Developing a Pen Grasp in Small Children.....plus a happy development for my DD.</b><br><br>
Ooooo, I'd love to update: DD made a beautiful W today!!! No more wobbly wiggles. This was a capital W, very nicely balanced and complete with pointy bottoms. <b><i>But aside from that</i></b>-- you know what I think helped give her the correct pencil grip that she has??? Those kiddy puzzles with the knobs! First, at 12 months she had the ones with big, fat wooden knobs. But later, she had things like alphabet puzzle pieces with tiny red knobs; knobs the size you'd find on a push pin. (I've since heard that some of those puzzles have been recalled. If the smaller knobs fall off they become a chocking hazzard for small children.) Recently, I read somewhere that things like picking up and putting down puzzle pieces with knobs seems to be good practice for holding a pen correctly. <i><b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Who knew???</span></b></i> Whatever the case, I honestly think this accounts for DD's proper pen grasp. Heaven knows I didn't teach it to her. Teaching a 2 year old how to hold a pen seems akin to teaching a cat how to swim, LOL! I just let DD do her own thing, and amazingly her pen grasp showed up-- I thought-- out of now where. Only later did I read something that seemed to provide an explanation. Whatever the case, consider giving knob puzzles a try with your own little ones, and lets see if this idea pans out.<br><br>
xoe
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks to all. I'll keep not correcting him, for the most part. Every once in a while, when he brings it up ("Let's practice making 'Y's, Mommy!") I offer to show him how *I* make Ys, how you can do it with just two lines, instead of three! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> I guess he is evolving in the ways he makes them and in how straight across they are, etc. So I won't worry much!<br>
And Supervee, yeah, the writing of them is really what he is interested in right now. It's part of his love of drawing, and his long and intense phase of loving his manipulative letters (magnets mostly) ended a while back. Wow, his letters obsession has been going strong for 2 years at this point! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
His grip on the pen/crayon has always been right on. Thanks everyone for your input!
 

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You know, my dd1 (almost 6) has insisted on holding a writing implement in her fist for years now. I've shown her a more correct grip as an option, but not pushed since it totally shuts her down. The other day, I saw her switching back and forth between the two grips. I smiled and snuck away.<br><br>
Totally OT, this is my 1000 post! It only took five years.
 
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