By Ellie Coverdale
Writing is one of those vital skills which, once you have it, you take for granted that at some point in your life you were without it. Whilst it’s highly unlikely that your kids won’t learn how to write, there are still a lot of mistakes that you can make as you are teaching them which can go on to be detrimental to them, affecting their whole process of development. With such a big thing at stake, let’s take a look at what mistakes you can make so that you know to do your best to avoid letting them arise.
- Rushing Development
Parents can be hugely over-zealous when it comes to monitoring and managing the development of their children. “There are lots of areas, from learning how to walk to toilet-training, where parents get hugely over-anxious about the rate at which their child is developing. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too early, and that very much applies to handwriting”, says Jessica Howard, lifestyle writer at Academ advisor and Study demic. Don’t push your children in a way that starts them out with a fear or dislike of handwriting. Introduce it slowly and surely, bit by bit.
- Not Teaching Letter Formation
If your child has produced something that looks like the letter ‘c’, this isn’t necessarily the only evidence you need that they have successfully navigated the act of writing. Failing to teach your child the letter formation as it should be done properly can be really damaging as they start trying to write whole words. There are a few schools of thought on how to do this successfully. The important thing is that it gets done, not specifically how you end up doing it. Formation will really help guide your child so that if they’re ever in doubt, they have that training to fall back on.
- Writing As Part Of A Continued Motor Development
The reason writing is difficult for many young children is that they struggle with fine motor skills in a general sense, not just with writing alone. “Teaching your child how to write is very important, but it should definitely be looked at as part of a larger goal, which is to get your child up to scratch more generally speaking with their physical skills”, explains Crystal Park, productivity expert at Grammarix and Easy word count. If you find yourself getting frustrated at your child’s inability on a fine motor skill level, then train that in a different area, unconnected to the pressure of also learning the meaning of the letters.
- Failing To Foster A Love For It
Teaching writing can go in one of a few different ways in terms of your child’s perception of what it means to do handwriting. In general, you’ve got a problem if your child hates doing writing. The best way to avoid this is to do your best to foster a real love for the act of writing: make it fun, turn it into a game, do anything you can to create positive associations. Your child will have to do a lot of writing in their life, so make sure you set them off on the right path.
- Using Alphabetical Order
Jumping in with the letter ‘A’ and expecting to be able to just drive your child the way down the line to ‘Z’ is not a good way to go about thinking about how to successfully teach writing to your child. The alphabet, as much as you might take it for granted now, actually has vast differences in the levels of difficulty. So drawing the letter ‘I’, for example, is considerably easier for a child than the letter ‘A’. Start with this in mind, so that you break your child in gently, rather than pushing them too far all at once.
Overall, you want to make sure that you’re setting a solid, healthy precedent for your child as they begin to learn to write. Don’t be overly cautious, but definitely be on the lookout for messing up any of these elements and creating unnecessary problems for your child.
A writer and blogger at Academized.com and Paperfellows.com, Ellie Coverdale is passionate about sharing her extensive experience. She specializes in writing tips and suggestions. Ellie enjoys writing about a wide range of topics, including lifestyle, education, and life as a writer. She fills the rest of her time as a teacher for Oxessays.com.