Mindy teaches how to write the letters
Mindy wants her four-year-old student to start writing, so she gives him a pencil and handwriting paper with D’Nealian lines.
Mindy asks her child to write the letters one at a time, for example, to fill the entire paper with letter Aa formations. She stresses the importance of staying within the lines as he writes. However, since the child is so young, he has trouble grasping the pencil and keeping the paper in place. Furthermore, he writes the letters with inconsistent formations. For example, he writes the lowercase a in three different ways. Since the task is difficult, the child quickly loses focus in the activity and plays with the pencil. Mindy attributes these difficulties to the fact that her student is “too young” to learn how to write.
Why this lesson falls short for some children...
Mindy’s lesson is not appropriate for a young child. First, by giving the child a pencil and handwriting paper, she has failed to accommodate her four-year-old’s developing fine-motor (small muscle) skills.
Second, copying letters does not provide sufficient guidance for a young child to form the letters correctly.
Finally, drilling by having a child write a letter repeatedly not only can bore the child, it is also inconsistent with the way letters occur in an actual writing context.
Learn to teach this lesson properly
- Teach handwriting to young children in a way that accomodates their developing fine-motor skills.
- Teach handwriting without repetitive drilling (such as writing a letter over and over) which can bore children.
- Give young children the guidance they need to write the letters correctly.