WDYT? — The Bump
Pre-School

WDYT?

DD is 4.5 (she will be 5 in November).  She knows numbers, colors, letters, letter sounds, and all the things a preschooler should know.  Her daycare/preschool said she is learning on a 2nd grade level.  However she can not freestyle write (meaning she can't write anything that she can't trace)  She can trace and all of that but free style writing is almost impossible for her.  We have worked on it for hours and hours with no progress.  She gets frustrated and gives up.  Is it normal for an almost 5 year old to have this problem? Can your 4 or 5 year old write free style.  She doesn't start Kindergarten until next year because she wont be 5 until November and here you have to be 5 by the start of the school year.
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Re: WDYT?

  • What exactly do you mean by freestyle writing...?

    DS is five and heading to kindy in September. He can write his name, numbers, capital letters and maybe half of his lower case letters. He is a lefty, so his writing isn't great and he struggles to write with consistent pencil pressure.

    We practice sight words a lot, and he can usually write those, but they letters aren't always straight or a consistent size.
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  • imageSpin313:
    What exactly do you mean by freestyle writing...? DS is five and heading to kindy in September. He can write his name, numbers, capital letters and maybe half of his lower case letters. He is a lefty, so his writing isn't great and he struggles to write with consistent pencil pressure. We practice sight words a lot, and he can usually write those, but they letters aren't always straight or a consistent size.

    I mean like writting without having something to trace.  She can't legibly write anything unless she can trace it.  

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  • Maybe she just doesn't have the fine motor skills yet. You could focus on art projects that help build those skills. I'm sure you could use google or Pinterest for some ideas. 

     Is she reading or doing math at a second grade level?  I think at that age you just go with their interests and strengths and keep learning fun, she has plenty of time to develop other skills.  

    For what it's worth, DD#1 is an early reader (early 3rd grade level) and good at math. She was only able to write her name at your daughter's age. She is writing now, but still mostly in uppercase and she is unable to spell words at all.  She starts K in the fall and I am trusting that the teacher will help her develop these skills. 

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  • Not even her name?  I would work on it in different ways starting with always having a model.  So put shaving cream on a window, have her imitate you drawing increasingly more difficult items.  Do lots of stuff standing up.  For some kids it is easier.  Do super large- writing letters with glow sticks in a dark room or use the garden hose.  Maybe have her trace a letter, then fade the trace prompt- meaning have fewer dots, then do a few with no tracing.  Or trace, then make the tracer lighter in color until it is absent.

    To me it sounds not quite right, because of the huge differential in her skills, but it very well could be within the normal limits.  It's hard to tell if it is behavioral, natural fear of failure, or true inability.

    If you really want to be happy, no one can stop you.

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  • What does she mean that she is learning at a 2nd grade level? From what you said she cannot write and she cannot read so that is not a second grade level that is a preschool level. 2nd graders can usually read easy chapter books and do double digit addition and subtraction. If she is still going to school I would ask her teacher what exactly she means. As for the writing she is behind on that. I agree with the people saying it could be a finely or skills delay and trying to teach it different ways but keep practicing without frustrating. One of the things DSs Kindrrgarten teacher recommended was practicing with their fingers in shaving cream or sand.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
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