Well, actually, No! Giving your child pencils too early in their development, can quite often lead to illegible, untidy, badly formed and badly sized writing, which will take a great deal of time to correct later on - that's if it can be corrected. It takes a great deal of determination in a student to change a stongly ingrained bad habit and some find it just too hard.
Handwriting is a complex operation. Activities that use all senses (multi-sensory) and feeling and moving (kinesthetic), prepare students for letter and number formation before they begin learning to write.
Well developed fine motor skills are necessary for a student to write well and it is the very, very, rare three or four year old, who has these skills. A five year old, who has had sufficient pre-handwriting experiene may be ready, but sometimes a child may be even older before these skills develop.
Handwriting readiness is dependent upon the presence of seven foundational skills.
- small muscle development
- hand-eye coordination
- utensil or tool manipulation
- basic stroke formation
- alphabet letter recognition
- orientation to written language
- understanding of spatial relationships
Fomal handwriting instruction can begin as early as kindergarten year and some children will take off and never look back. Some, however, will struggle for the rest of their lives, because one or more of the above seven developmental stages had not been reached, when they were required to learn letter formation.In following blogs, I'll explain more fully the seven prerequisites for handwriting readiness and give activities that can aid in the formation of each.
IMPORTANT and again IMPORTANT
There also needs to be gross motor activities to get the brain going and give students more control over their bodies. Try dancing, little athletics, skipping, running around kicking a ball with them - get them moving and away from the TV and computer games. Not that these things are necessarily bad, but there needs to be balance.