This is a guest post by Katherine Rundell, an educational writer at Academic Writing Service and Ukwritings Reviews. She works as a proofreader for Assignment Help and writes about teaching techniques.
Writing is a core skill for any child to learn but for many preschoolers, it’s a struggle; being expected to assimilate language, punctuation and tenses, all while converting this unfamiliar knowledge into written prose, can overwhelm a child. In stressed young children, this leads to defiance in school, delays in reading and writing that can impact education at a crucial time in their academic lives and difficulty communicating needs.
Let’s discuss Teaching Preschoolers To Write: 5 Effective Methods we recommend to aid a child’s progress, why it’s important to be literate and the benefit of legible writing to a child’s future, even as the world shifts towards ever-more digital oriented mediums.
Why is Writing Important?
With the constant shift towards digital mediums of communication and the rise of video calls and conferences, it can seem outdated to learn to write. The truth is, while writing may be less crucial now than in the past, it’s still an important skill for young children predominantly due to the plasticity of the preschooler brain.
“Learning to write has many benefits that interconnect with other important life skills. Literacy, typing speed, comprehension and improving a child’s independence are just a few of these,” says Lara Knightsbridge, a writer at Paper Fellows and Custom Essays.
What Are The Benefits of Good Penmanship?
Fine Motor Skills: Writing and speech use different neural pathways and for a child, connecting verbal and nonverbal words isn’t innate. Learning to write and practicing the letters can improve understanding and retention of words and improves fine motor skills.
It’s a Useful Skill: Even with the rise of the digital, there are still always instances when someone needs to be able to write notes, give speeches or plan projects. Not learning to write as a child impedes ability to in adulthood (even if you learn when mature), limits vocabulary and hinders the abilities of an individual to become independent.
Reading Comprehension: The ability to identify, understand and verbalize words are all factors in literacy, another key skill in life. Not learning to write slows the ability of a child to recognize, attach meaning to then verbalize written words, causing problems with reading fluency.
5 Effective Methods for Teaching Writing to Preschoolers
With those points in mind, here are 5 Effective Methods to Teach Preschoolers to write:
#1 – Make it as Child-Friends as Possible
Writing is frustrating, particularly if simply holding a pen is difficult. Most preschoolers struggle to grip a pen properly for a while, so make the process as easy as possible for them; get plastic grips that can be slid onto a writing implement that encourage holding it properly, start with pencils and write you own clear letters with space beneath for your child to imitate your style.
#2 – Adapt Your Methods
Every child is different and may not like using pencils. Rather than stick to a script if your child is having difficulty, change your mediums; encourage your preschooler to draw on chalkboards, use crayons and paper or even pens with lined paper. Let their initiative guide you and use what they most enjoy to your advantage.
#3 – Make it Fun!
Turn writing into a game rather than a chore by encouraging word games. Draw animals, objects or foods and have them identify them. Choose pencils in bright varieties of their favourite colours and if you can, participate alongside them. Display their creations on the fridge or show other family and friends, too; will encourage them to write more, without having to be forced.
#4 – Focus on Accuracy
The size and legibility of letters don’t matter in the early stages, only that they can identify and try to mimic the shape of the letters. Practicing these shapes will lead to improvements until the core shape is near-flawless, then you can work on adjusting the size of their penmanship.
#5 – Keep Lessons Consistent and Bitesize
Limiting how long you spend on each letter – once or twice per session – also keeps preschoolers from getting frustrated when they struggle with the shape, moves them to a new challenge and reignites interest for the session.