Learning how to write is certainly not an easy task, especially for our young children yet we still expect so much from such a young age!
Lets think about the skills involved when a child attempts to write;
Firstly they have the physical task of not only holding the pencil but manipulating it to do what they want with control and precision.
The the child thinks what they want to write, they need to remember what they want to write and then use their knowledge of phonics to identify the individual sounds, remember how they are represented by letters and attempt to form them on the paper! Phew!
So because it is such a huge task with many skills which need to be mastered, it’s important we give children the freedom to explore and play with making marks with plenty of praise and encouragement!
The following stages are approximate guides and as we all know children grow and develop at their own pace and in their own way. Please use the following as a helping hand rather than a checklist.
Your child may have explored some stages, all stages or not started any stages. Whatever stage theyrat, remember to offer plenty of play and exploration!
1. Scribbles. Making marks anywhere on the paper.
2. Scribbling from side to side
3. Pretend writing, mimicking adults writing and may add some meaning to it
4. Letter like formations and shapes like circles and gives them meaning.
5. Start to attempt some letter or number looking shapes. May include some letters from their name.
6. Letter strings. Putting random letters together to make words believing that they are writing.
7. Including lots of letters and digits in drawings and believe they created words.
8. Start labelling drawings with some key letters they can identify in words, like ‘HouSe’
9. Begin to write sentences, identifying key sounds they can hear in the words. ‘I like ham sandwiches’
If you are looking for ways to support your little one to learn to write at home, make sure you check out the Pre-Writing Skills online course. Packed with educational activities you can do at home to make learning how to write fun!