How to motivate 5 year old? Any teachers on here? — The Bump
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How to motivate 5 year old? Any teachers on here?

My daughter who will be 5 next week is doing great in preschool except for writing.  They are focusing on name writing now and everynight they send a folder home with line paper in it to practice name writing.  DD is horrible at it and she hates doing it.  I can't seem to motivate her to want to do it.  I have even tried telling her she will get a toy when she can do it right and I am going to buy a sticker chart that leads to a shopping trip for a new toy.  Anybody know of anything  else I can try for not only motivation but to learn the skill?  I have also tried having her trace and the workbooks that practice handwriting and we haven't really had any luck.  
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Re: How to motivate 5 year old? Any teachers on here?

  • June2007June2007 member
    edited October 2013
    DD1 is 5 and in K this year. She has been doing great in everything except when it comes to completing worksheets that are a part of their independent work time. She is the only student who consistently isn't getting it done on time but instead is day dreaming or spending her time coloring elaborately. We've tried a variety of things along with her teacher but what is working for us now is positive reinforcement. We started a sticker chart and she gets a sticker every time she completes her class work on time, when she gets 5 we go out for ice cream. So I think you're on the right track with thinking of the sticker chart.

    Also, try different methods of writing that are more fun than pencils and paper such as: chalk outside, dry erase board, sand/salt in a tray using her finger to write,let her write on pieces of tape and label things around her room, etc. This will make it seem more like fun and less like work.
    My 2 girls, both born on a Friday the 13th, are exactly 2 years, 2 months, 2 hours and 2 minutes apart! And Baby Boy joined us October 11, 2013! image
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  • Can you back off for a bit? If she's still in preschool she has lots of time to learn before kindy. Ditto the suggestions of practicing writing with other media, and you can do other things to work on fine motor skills that she might enjoy. My DD loves doing crafts, so we practice cutting, glueing tiny beads and sequins. Baking and using a flour sifter is really good for hand strength, picking up things with clothespins, etc. If she hates it, pushing so hard is just going to make her more resistant.
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  • Honestly it's not like hours of horrible homework, she just has to write her name on line paper a couple of times a night.  When she gets frustrated I stop for the night.  I like that she is learning the responsibility of homework and I really want her to get better at writing before kindergarten.  I don't want to push her to hate it I just want to encourage her to be better at it.  Like I said we stop when she gets frustrated and it takes up a maximum of 15 minutes of her time. 
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  • I am a preschool teacher and I don't care if it takes 5 minutes or 15 minutes, preschool should not have homework! Especially working on writing your name on a line. 

    IF you want her to work on her name at home, June2007's suggestions for making it fun were spot-on. Using different methods and media will make it interesting. However, I would not force it. She will learn in time. Really, at four and five, children shouldn't be writing more than their name anyway. They're not really developmentally ready (generally) as far as fine motor skills go. Her name should not be neat and tidy at this point- it should be big messy letters.
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  • Honestly it's not like hours of horrible homework, she just has to write her name on line paper a couple of times a night.  When she gets frustrated I stop for the night.  I like that she is learning the responsibility of homework and I really want her to get better at writing before kindergarten.  I don't want to push her to hate it I just want to encourage her to be better at it.  Like I said we stop when she gets frustrated and it takes up a maximum of 15 minutes of her time. 

    My older DD has a fine motor delay, so we didn't push writing in preschool. We encouraged her to work on other things that would strengthen her grasp. She didn't even master a tripod grip until a couple of weeks before kindy started. She's doing great now, and we're only two months in. She writes sentences independently, and she's working really hard on printing. Your DD's preschool is expecting her to do something that's not developmentally appropriate. When she's ready and has the visual-motor skills to write her name neatly on lined paper, it will happen without such a struggle.
    [Deleted User]
  • She is in preschool. Seriously she is not learning the responsibility of homework, she is learning to hate homework which can turn into hating school. Homework in preschool is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. I agree with backing off, I would not ask her again to do it for at least a month and she might be different but dog in your heals and it will be much worse.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • Thanks everyone for your feedback, I see your points.  
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  • I am also a preschool teacher and I cannot fathom the idea of homework for them. I do have kids in my class who can't even hold a pencil right, so they can't come close to writing letters. I agree with the idea to have her work on those fine motor skills. She may just not be ready yet. I also plan on having my class trace letters in sand and I would do shaving cream but they just decided it isn't safe for kids so I'm not allowed to use it. You can make "wiki sticks," which is just cut up pieces of yarn soaked in wax and paraffin. They stick to most hard surfaces just by pressing down lightly and they come off easily. No mess at all. You can have her form the letters using them. Maybe get a little dry erase board and write the letter and have her put the sticks on top of it. In the meantime you can also work on her letter recognition so she has more of an understanding that what she is being asked to write actually represents something.
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