I come across a lot of parents worried sick about this. The truth is, there is no need to worry.
Everybody knows that to start with, young children are expected to write and read big letters, but after a few months they have to write and read smaller and smaller ones, which can be really difficult for them.
Specifically because their motor skills are still developing and because they learn brand new things almost every day. It is a lot of work and if they sleep well, the brain can process all the brand new information really well, however if they don't get enough quality sleep, there can be a problem remembering what they have learnt.
So the easy way to help them is this:
1. Don't forget to make it fun!! We learn more by having fun.
2. Stop asking them to write and practice small letters - let their muscle memory learn the movement instead!
3. Get an A3 size paper or better still, a flip-chart and play connect the dots with them.
You dot the BIG letters they have difficulty with and let them connect the dots.
Then ask them to just write them with you, whilst you hold their hand. Just do it again and again. Muscle memory is a very clever thing and they will remember sooner than you think! And have fun until they get it!!
I helped a little girl recently who could not write number 8.
Her mum didn't know what to do.
She asked her to keep writing, she held her hand, writing it together, still, when the little girl tried, she still couldn't do it. They practiced and practiced, but still nothing happened. There were tears and stress.
They were really stressed out about this as she was 7 years old and it seemed ridiculous to them.
So I had a look at their 'practice sheets'.
And yes, you guessed it right - she was asked to write small 'adult writing' sized numbers again and again.
So what did I do differently?
I took a big flip-chart paper. Her eyes lit up.
And I asked her: "Can you write an S?"
She said YES!
I said "Great! Can you write a big one for me?"
And she did.
" Now. - I said. What you do is just connect the two ends together and you get number 8. Every time!"
"Wow" she said and then she kept writing really BIG number 8s, until we run out of paper.
Since then she never had a problem writing number 8.
Remember, use things they already know, as building onto existing knowledge is so much easier and gives them a feeling of succeeding. And you will get big smiles as a reward. And have fun with them. Learning should be fun.
Don't forget, they need quality sleep too!
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