Being into Early childhood education and parenting, I was always asked varied questions by young, anxious mothers.
Apart from the initial hiccups of toilet training and food habit and tricky twos and troublesome three’s, the most frequently asked question was “How to teach them to write?”
Yes, the initial few years are very crucial for the parents as well as the child. The parent is starting the most important, time taking, risky job of his life as one small mistake can turn into a big one.
Unfortunately, in India and the world over, parenting is not taken as a job though it is.
A job where you do not deal with commodity but the personality of the future!
The child takes a major transformation in his life in these initial years. They learn to stand, walk, grab, hold, touch, and many other skills that we don’t even consider as a skill.
Apart from all the behavioral issues and tantrums, we sail and enter to learning phase.
Within a few years, the child starts preschool, and parents as well teachers, begin observing the child onto various parameters. Language, motor skills, and logical skills all come under the scanner.
The linguistic development where children learn new words is comparatively easy and depends on the exposure and grasping of the child. It depends more on a child’s observation and vocal skills.
The one problem which parent gets extremely worried and anxious is the writing abilities of the child. We as adults find it easier to teach them the correct vocabulary along with pronunciation, whereas when it comes to writing, it needs a different approach.
Here I am giving a few pointers which will help the parent to take a better approach.
Writing is a fine-motor skill. It also needs good hand-eye coordination for understanding the concept of boundaries. This skill starts developing from the initial days when the child tries to hold onto something or tries to grab a toy or hold your finger.
Give them exercise – Children play various games which enhance their motor skills. Block play – The simplest of games where a child makes a tower with blocks/sometimes glasses or bowls is a way where the child refines their skill.
Lacing and beading activity is another activity that kids do keenly and enjoy. It refines their hand-eye coordination too.
Sorting is another activity that not only improves their logical skills but gives enough practice of fine motor skills too. We don’t need branded toys and equipment for this. You can give cutlery to sort or give offer potato and onion baskets to sort. Ask them to sort their clothes out of the laundry basket. Make it a day to day activity.
Preschool Days are valuable as a child get exposed to various age-appropriate activities. At home, give them lots of scribbling as this is the time when the child is eager to hold a pencil and write.
Start with round crayons and encourage them to color a simple picture may be a circle or some fruit.Keep them motivated to scribble within boundaries. Color and wipe sheets are quite handy.
Clay fun is something that kids look forward to. Give them clay to mold shapes as it will give exercise to their finger and later improve pincer grip too.
Sand writing is another fun way to teach the alphabet pattern. The trip to the park’s sandpit can be accompanied by some alphabet fun too!!
Patience and Practice is the key when you are teaching children. Writing starts with simple pattern writing. Joining dots to make standing sleeping and slanting lines. Don’t lose heart if the child does not make it straight.
They might take time to hold a pencil, putting exact pressure, or to understand the concept of dots. But they will do it with constant practice.
Keep the child motivated and don’t scold them for mistakes.
Don’t rush and teach them all alphabets beforehand. The curriculum by the school has been designed to inculcate and teach writing skills within a few months.
So teach it gradually, with love and patience, and help your little one to learn an important skill.
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