Inspiration and support to live your healthiest life.
We have all been kids at some point. Few of us, however, remember being taught how to write. We kind of just know how to write, and there is all there is to it. There is a reason to that – it happens because it was a bore fest. There was nothing worth remembering – that's why. It was as boring as it could possibly be. We would have to just sit still and write the same letters over and over again, what an excitement! You probably would not like that for your child.
It is true that teaching children to write, among other things, is the job of the school teacher. But it is no excuse to denounce any responsibility for your child's education. We can and must facilitate this process if we want our child to succeed in his further education without any unnecessary stress. Besides, helping your children to learn how to write can turn into some quality family fun time, if you apply some creative approach to it. We have prepared several tips for parents who would like to take an active part in their children's education from the early age.
1. Get your child interested in writing
Most children are curious and proactive. Also, they are still exploring the world through the tactile channels, i.e. by touching. Because of that, children can at times be irritating or even destructive. But we, parents, can put that energy to good use! We can use that for helping the child learn to write. There are plenty of ways to let your child know that learning to write may be great fun.
There are many ways to turn a mundane exercise into great fun for the child. For example, you can use finger-paints to write, you use Lego blocks, you can use shaving foam and your kitchen table, - anything you can think of is good. The main thing is that your child did not have sit still and get bored while learning, but could have fun in the process instead.
2. Teach kids to write their names
When you don't know where to start, it is always a good idea to first teach the kid to write his or her name. There are two reasons to that. First, this word is probably the most familiar one to the child. Second, it will make him/her feel like this word is the most important one, make the child feel special.
What is important here is not to stop on capital letters. Many kindergarten pedagogues complain that this is extremely difficult to break such a habit in a child. It will complicate the pedagogue's job in explaining your little boy or girl that lower case letters also exist and what is the difference between lower cases and caps.
Therefore, educators suggest that we first learn to write the children's names in capital letters, then – the same in lower case letters, and then we can proceed to some other words in capital letters. The main thing is that the child realizes the existence of the lower case.
3. Go slow but steady
It would be downright foolish to expect your young child to learn all the alphabet at once. It is also not such a good idea to go in the alphabetical order. That would be just lazy. We need to realize that alphabetical order was not created for the ease of learning. After your child has learned to write his or her name in both upper and lower case letters, you can move on to the easier kind of capital letters – the straight ones:
E F H I L T
After, you can move on to the harder ones – the ones with curves:
B C D J O P Q S U
When you have mastered those, you can finally complete the alphabet and learn the capital letters that are the most difficult to write – the ones with diagonals:
A K M N R V W X Y Z
4. Give their fingers some other physical exercise
Many parents often complain that their children's handwriting remains unintelligible after a considerable period of time spent learning to write. Some people may claim that this is because of the child's mental problems – arrested development of some sort or something like that. However, in 99.9% cases, such fables have absolutely no substance to them, merely ill suggestions.
Handwriting problems mostly come from the underdeveloped finger motoric – the ability to hold objects with the thumb and the index finger. Unlike many of us still think in the 21st century, people are not born with such ability. It needs to be trained. A good way to train this ability is giving some physical exercise to fingers – putting together blocks or puzzles, stringing beads, etc.
There is one more thing that you need to remember before you think bad of your child and yourself as a parent because of the kid's bad handwriting. The pens and pencils are normally designed for adult hands. The child's hands, however, as obviously smaller, so it is much harder for a child to have a good hold of the pen. A good idea is to use rubber grips, but it is even better to give the child a small golf pencil.
5. Employ smiley faces
Younger children love smiley faces. But how can we employ smileys for the benefit of learning to write? Well, they can be used to prevent children from writing certain letters backward – for example, upper case R or upper case N. It is not an uncommon complaint from parents and elementary school teachers alike. Many even see this as a symptom of dyslexia (once again, quite groundless suggestion). But how – you may ask.
It is quite obvious, in fact. You use the old-fashioned square blocks with letters and stick a smiley in, say, upper right corner (or any other corner of your choice is any good, as long as it is the same corner on every block). This way, when the child places the square, he or she will position it correctly, because otherwise, the smiley will not smile.
As a parent, you cannot be expected to help you children in everything they do throughout their entire lives. Nobody can force you to help high school students with their college application essays or supply your children with pocket money for the rest of their lives. At a young age, however, your help is not only welcome but very much needed. Learning to read is just one of the many examples. Our tips should help you make it so much more fruitful and fun.