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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At what age should a child be able to write his/her name? Is this a necessary skill to have before starting kindergarten? DS will be 5 in Dec., and has been able to spell out his name since he was 3, knows all letters, yet shows ZERO interest in writing his name, or in drawing anything besides scribbles, circles, dots, and railroad tracks. (He is train obsessed.) I tried to do it with him again today, and he just wanted to show me his railroad tracks on the paper and where the branch lines were.
: His preschool is a learning through play based one where he goes 3 days a week, and I love the fact that they don't push worksheets, etc., but he starts K in the fall, and I just want him to be prepared. Should I be worried? Should I really be working with him more on trying to write his name?
 

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I think it all depends on where your DS goes to K. I'm probably in the minority here at MDC but my DS is in a private school that's more academically based than his previous preschool so they are already writing names and learning simple high frequency words. He actually started learning how to write his name last year at the old school and we worked on it at home so he can do it, but just not as nice as the kids who are entering their 2nd year at the new school (it's his 1st year). I plan on continuing him at this private school until maybe the 1st grade so I know he will need to know how to write his name next year when he enters K.

What we did at home to help DS write his name was we bought the writing tablets with lines, used a hi-liter to write his name and had him trace it. One thing I did learn was to make sure to use lower case letters too. At the old school they just taught him upper case so he didn't recognize lower case letters and couldn't write it either.

As for coloring, my DS could care less. He scribbles in color just to get it done and moves on to the next project or assignment. He's so over coloring and crayons!

FYI - We switched for reasons not academic related -- it had to do with better, more experienced teachers, more aides and a healthier, safer learning environment. DS is thriving and he loves school now whereas he was getting emotionally beat up due to lack of supervision at the old school.
 

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This thread caught my I because my mil was just in town and kept asking ds1 if could write his name. He, too, goes to a play-based school that I love. He can spell his name, but doesn't have much interest in writing letters or drawing. I believe that he learns best when he is ready and interested in learning and don't want too push him. He will be 5 in Jan and starting K next fall, too. I am hoping that it is not pushed too much there. I break out the doodlepro and see if he wants to trace letters every once in a while, but that's about all I've done. My mom bought him a dry erase book with letters to trace and try, but I seem to have lost it.

Guess I'm not much help. I can say that I'm not really worried. There is a lot of time until he starts K. With my ds, I'll bring it up occassionally while he's drawing or painting and wait to see any sign of interest and go from there.
 

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My DS is 5. When he started preschool a year ago at 4 he was unable and unwilling to write his name. The class had a question of the day with a yes/no answer and you wrote your name underneath the yes or no. This was the only time, other then on art work where the children would even have to write. We found that just by seeing the other kids writing their own names encouraged our son to learn too. By the end of the first month he was writing his own name. He just started kindergarten this fall and from what I can see of the 12 in his class they can all write their own names.
 

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Most of the kids in my son's preschool class could write their name last year. They were 4-5 years old as he was in a multi age class. My son started writing his name at preschool and he was almost 4. But he always writes it in upper case. His school is more playbased as well, but since he had older kids in his class his first year and he saw them doing it, he also wanted to do it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jillmamma View Post
has been able to spell out his name since he was 3, knows all letters
I think he actually does know how to write his name, actually, just is not interested in doing it. If that is so, do not insist, else he is going to resist even more strongly. I agree you can show him his name and write it yourself with pasta letters, vegetable sticks or on the sand...maybe he will be interested in doing it maybe not but he will acquire the skills necessary and wil be able to do it when he is asked to. How did you get him to learn the letters? They came naturally with dd1, and I am trying with dd2 but she's not so interested
 

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Not all the kids in my daughter's preschool class can write their names. Maybe a quarter can't? Or at least they need quite a bit of help to do it. We had an open house and the teacher had all the kids write their names on a sign-in sheet and a lot of them weren't able to, and the teacher said not to worry about it, just let them write as much or as well as they could. It must be at least fairly common. My daughter can write her name but she has a lot of trouble holding the pencil properly and she starts from the bottom instead of the top to make the letters. And sometimes they're very large and in two rows (and her name isn't that long.) So she can write it but she can't write it well.

Interestingly, almost all the kids who couldn't write their names yet were boys.
 

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My dd1 is almost 5.5 and can't write her name. She can read anything under the sun and spell most words up to six or so letters long. Her fine motor skills are just a little slower to develop. I can see progress, though, so I'm not worried at this point. It will come.
 

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DD learned to write her name when she was 4, the year before she started school. DS learned to write his name during his first year of school, age 4 too. The only reason DS learned when he did is that we wrote his name hand over hand on 22 Valentine's Day cards while saying "Down-across-across, around-down, down-around".
: It also helps that his name has only 3 letters.
 

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My dd is 5, will be 6 in January and has been writing her name for probably 6 months now. In the past month she has decided she has to add her last name on her papers at school. I'm sure in a class of 20 kids the teacher is going to get her messed up with another Annette
That said I know that not all the kids in her class could write their name going in to kindergarten and that was something they worked on in the first weeks. All really simple and low stress just writing their name on a line at the top of the sheet they were coloring or counting things on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by gaialice View Post
I think he actually does know how to write his name, actually, just is not interested in doing it. If that is so, do not insist, else he is going to resist even more strongly. I agree you can show him his name and write it yourself with pasta letters, vegetable sticks or on the sand...maybe he will be interested in doing it maybe not but he will acquire the skills necessary and wil be able to do it when he is asked to. How did you get him to learn the letters? They came naturally with dd1, and I am trying with dd2 but she's not so interested
Interesting. Maybe he does know how, but just does not want to? He does not always hold the pencil/crayon correctly either. I like your idea of writing it in the sand...he LOVES his sandbox! I need to try that!


As far as getting him to learn the letters for it in the first place, he could recognize most of the alphabet by about 3, so then I just said "m-a-t-t-h-e-w spells Matthew" a lot in conversation, would write it on his paper when he colored, and wrote it on the sidewalk in chalk if we were outside. Now he is also just starting to learn some of the letter sounds, but has several sight words including "Matthew", "Michelle" (his sister), "Mommy", "Daddy", "stop", "go", "on", "off", "taxi", "car" and "Thomas" (can you tell we like trains here?
)

Thanks everyone for your responses. I think I will continue to model it, and encourage him to keep trying when drawing. Also, have to try it in the sand.
 

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My son just started kindy a couple of weeks ago and couldn't write all the letters of his name. His name is Jackson and he could do jack but had problems with the s. He also only knew the capital letters for his name. They worked on writing names first thing in kindergarten and he had no problem picking it up. He also went to a play based preschool starting at 3 1/2 where there was no push to write. At the start of class they had books out with each kids name for them to trace. They could trace their name (or not) when we signed in. DS usually wasn't interested. He also knew how to spell his name for a while. So I think all the skills where there.
 

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I don't think it's unusual for a 5 year old not to be able to write his or her name... especially boys. I seem to remember reading someplace that boys develop the fine motor skills necessary for writing later in life than girls, on average. I would no rush it, nor freak about it. Your son knows his name and how to spell it. I would think that would be the important thing at this stage... and I doubt that all kids entering kindergarten know that.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jillmamma View Post
As far as getting him to learn the letters for it in the first place, he could recognize most of the alphabet by about 3, so then I just said "m-a-t-t-h-e-w spells Matthew" a lot in conversation, would write it on his paper when he colored, and wrote it on the sidewalk in chalk if we were outside. Now he is also just starting to learn some of the letter sounds, but has several sight words including "Matthew", "Michelle" (his sister), "Mommy", "Daddy", "stop", "go", "on", "off", "taxi", "car" and "Thomas" (can you tell we like trains here?
)
That's a good idea. I will do the spelling too. We need to start work a bit on the letters, because dd2 - aside from her name's letters - does not know any other letters. She will be 5 in a week.
 

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If your child is not in Kindergarten yet and won't start for another year then he will most likely be more than ready by that time.
A child at this age can change a lot in a month or two. I'd definitely keep practicing though.
 

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DD's been writing her name since just before she turned 3yo.

Your son spelling his name is a big first step. Would he be interested in writing it in flour on a baking sheet? Damp sand? Maybe something other than pencil and paper would interest him.

Jenn
 
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