Useful Tips

How to teach a child to write: 9 important rules that every parent should know


Writing is a complex skill that requires the coordinated work of the muscles of the hand, developed visual memory, spatial perception, attentiveness and perseverance. It’s difficult for a preschooler to learn all this right away. Therefore, take it as a rule: a little pee - rested. Overloads adversely affect the development of the child's body.

Do not rush

Studies show Young Children’s Knowledge of the Symbolic Nature of Writing that children begin to see the difference between words and pictures as early as three years old, whether they can read or not. However, at such an early age, the kids are not yet ready for writing: their brain will form the necessary skills only by 5-7 years.

You can check the readiness for writing as follows:

  • Give your child a piece of paper and offer to draw something.
  • Ask to paint over part of the picture.
  • If the baby will constantly turn a sheet of paper and hardly change the direction of the line, it means that he is not ready to write letters yet.

Do not force

If the child does not want to learn letters, do not force him. Do better exercises that develop fine motor skills, spatial thinking and memory.

There is no formal requirement to “be able to write” for a future first grader. At the age of 5–7 years, it is worth giving preference to preparing your hands for learning writing at school.

Start writing no earlier than 7 years

Teaching a child to write before school is not worth it. Until this age, the mechanism of neuromuscular regulation has not matured in most children.

Writing is a very delicate process that requires a proper fit, fixing the hand, a certain sequence of actions. Therefore, it is better to entrust this business to a professional. The teacher works in the classroom with each student and makes sure that the process of becoming handwriting goes the right way.

Exercises for the development of fine motor skills will help prepare your hand for writing.

The best preparation for writing will be games for the development of fine motor skills. Sculpt from plasticine, play with groats, string beads on a thread, tear paper and make applications out of it. This will prepare the muscles of the hand for the load.

You can also just draw (with pencils or wax crayons), paint, make simple hatching, spirals, patterns, straight and wavy lines of different lengths. Practicing such elements before school will help the child to get used to writing more quickly.

First a pencil, then a pen

If the urge to teach your child how to write is irresistible, give him a pencil. Training should be an interesting activity, and you should try to avoid stress. Writing the first letters is a big strain for any kid. Therefore, he should always be able to correct the first mistakes. And this is convenient to do if the letters are written in pencil.

You need to do no more than 5 minutes at a time

They wrote one line, then rested - the first rule for caring parents. The concentration time of 7-8 years in children is very short, and they can concentrate on letters for a maximum of 5 minutes (2-3 is better).

Paradoxically, but at the initial stage of education, the less the student writes, the better he gets.

Often, adults buy three different prescriptions for a child and make them prescribe a page every day. You can’t do this categorically.

Do not teach handwritten letters.

Primary school teachers ask parents about this. The fact is that the ways of writing letters in textbooks vary.

Parents will learn how to combine and write letters in one way, and the requirements for the program will be different. And the child will have to relearn.

If the parents and, most importantly, the baby still have a desire to master calligraphy, get involved in working out the elements of letters. Such exercises can be found in prescriptions for preschoolers.

Develop fine motor skills

To learn to write, a child needs to have developed fine motor skills. Does this mean that he should easily manipulate small objects and perform Do fine motor skills contribute to early reading development? actions requiring the coordinated work of the eyes and hands. For example, sculpt from dough or draw.

To prepare your preschooler’s hand for writing, try the following exercises:

  • Cut shapes from paper along the contour.
  • Draw and color with crayons, felt-tip pens and paints.
  • Sculpt from dough and plasticine.
  • Create applications.
  • Collect models from the designer.
  • Work with mosaic.
  • Crochet and cross stitch.

Exercises should be performed regularly at a convenient pace for the child and together with adults.

By the way, with the movement of the fingers, the activity of the frontal and temporal parts of the brain responsible for speech is enhanced: children with advanced motor skills speak better.

Teach you to sit at the table

And before the baby begins to write. Then he will be too keen on letters and will not be able to control his body.

Remember that improper position at the table leads to circulatory disorders and diseases of the spine, delays the development of the chest.

Every time a child sits at a table to eat, draw, read or do something else, monitor his position.

The baby should sit straight, not leaning on the table with his chest. The shoulders are on one level. The head is slightly tilted forward. The distance from the eyes to the table is not less than 30–35 cm. The hands lie so that the elbows protrude slightly beyond the edge of the table.

Both legs are on the floor and bent at the knees at an angle of 90 degrees. The left leg (if the child is right-handed) or the right (if left-handed) can be slightly extended.

Show how to hold a pencil

To get started, take thick trihedral pencils: it’s easier to explain on them how to put your fingers. When you switch to round, you can use the exercise machines-nozzles for the correct writing.

It is best to show the child how you yourself hold the pencil, and mark with a pen or felt-tip pen on the children's fingers the places where the instrument should be located.

To improve handwriting, some educators require the tip of the pencil to point toward the right shoulder of the right-handed person or the left shoulder of the left-handed person.

You can also do a simple exercise. Take a pencil with the index finger and thumb of the right hand at the place where the paint ends. With your left hand, grasp the opposite edge and turn the tool over.

If fingers move out, correct them. Retraining the child will then be very difficult. Make sure that the baby does not squeeze the pencil too much. Do finger exercises during breaks.

Many educators agree that it is advisable to instill the writing skill with a pencil, rather than a fountain pen. The child will not be afraid of his mistakes (you can erase the unsuccessful option with an eraser), and also learn to control the degree of pressure.

Lyubov Chulkova, neuropedagogue-psychologist, speech therapist, writer, elementary school teacher

Learn to navigate a piece of paper

The child must master spatial thinking and be able to navigate on a piece of paper. This will help him in the future to read the size and location of the letter on the line, to understand the number of elements included in it, to choose the slope and scope. To master this skill will help graphic dictations.

Draw with your fingers

You can learn letters by drawing them on razor foam, grits scattered on a baking sheet, misted glass, in the air, chalk on asphalt or finger paints on paper. Letters can be folded from seeds and sculpted from plasticine. When pronouncing a letter, you need to name the sounds corresponding to it and remember the words that begin on it.

It is important to associate the letter with the subject on which it begins. And it is correct to name the name of the letter and the sound that it denotes. For example, the letter is called “em,” and the sounds are “m” or “m”.

Lyubov Chulkova, neuropedagogue-psychologist, speech therapist, writer, elementary school teacher

Write letter and number elements in the sketchbook

Start with the development of elements: vertical and horizontal sticks, circles, ovals and others. Tasks can be found in manuals for preschoolers or come up on their own.

Draw a sample of the element and have the child repeat it. If he is mistaken, explain why you should do just that. For the first experiments, it is better to have a separate drawing album so that the child is not distracted by the ruler.

The hardest things for children are given the upper element of the small letters "c", "b", the lower element of the letters "y", "z", "d", "c", "u". Learning to write the small letter "g" from top to bottom, as well as the hooks of the letters "t" and "w" is also important.

Lyubov Chulkova, neuropedagogue-psychologist, speech therapist, writer, elementary school teacher

Perform prescription exercises for preschoolers

In prescriptions for preschoolers you will find a lot of useful exercises: “continue the pattern”, “finish the ornament”, “finish the pattern”, “connect by dots”, “draw by the cells”, “shade”, “color”, “remember the word in the letter ”and many others. Thanks to them, the child will prepare his hand for more accurate writing, learn the spelling of printed letters, and will become better oriented inside the cell and on the line.

Checklist for those who want to teach their child how to write

Marina Suzdaleva, psychologist, teacher of early development, author of books for parents, creator of the project “Club of passionate mothers”.

Writing is a complex skill, the successful mastery of which is based on developed fine motor skills, skills of hand-eye coordination and visual memory, confident orientation in space. In practice, this means that the child:

  • Holds a pen or pencil correctly.
  • Able to copy simple patterns, geometric shapes, block letters in large print from the board and from the sheet.
  • Quickly and accurately determines the direction, position in space (right-left, top-bottom, lower-higher, forward-backward).

Effective mastery of the writing skill is also unthinkable without the ability to concentrate and distribute attention. All this applies only to the "technical side" of the letter.

In parallel, there is a development of spelling and grammar skills that successfully fall into the developed phonemic hearing, the ability to perform sound-letter analysis of the word, a wide vocabulary and competent oral speech of the child.

The first steps

When your baby is 3 years old, he should already begin to prepare a little for writing. It is believed that children start writing calligraphically at around the age of 5-6. If you want to teach your child to write in advance before he goes to school, give him a massage of his hands and fingers so that the kid does not feel tired when writing. It will be great if the kid draws or sculpts figures from plasticine, it also contributes to the development of fingertips and hands, these exercises help to develop fine motor skills.

How to hold the pen?

A very important point in teaching a child to write is whether he correctly holds a writing object in his pens, whether it be a pen, pencil or felt-tip pen. If your kid gets used to writing in the wrong way, then it will be very difficult for him to retrain. When the rules were created for the correct spelling and holding of the subject, factors were taken into account that will affect the future health of the baby: vision, posture, development of the muscles of the hands to avoid fatigue.

The baby should hold the handle on the phalanx, namely the upper phalanx of the middle finger. The handle is fixed using the thumb and forefinger. There should be a thumb above the index. It is very important to ensure that the tip of the handle is directed towards the shoulder.

Buy a notebook for your child

So that your baby learns to write quickly and efficiently, get your notebook with him or a beautiful album. In it you will try to write together, the kid is much more interesting to train with your parents than yourself. Do not ask your child complex words from the very beginning, he will learn them for a long time and painfully. Start with regular letters.

You can have the child circle dots or write simple letters of the alphabet. After the kid learns the letters, he can begin to learn simple words that he knows very well: dad, mom, bunny, pussycat, forest, or other words that he likes. At the end of learning these words, calmly move on to learning new ones.

"Special" dictation

You can arrange a “special” dictation from time to time for your baby. Just show your child various beautiful simple pictures, and he will write down the names of what is depicted there. This method perfectly develops imagination, logic, speed of thinking.

Do not try to teach your child to immediately write beautiful capital letters of the Russian alphabet with different hooks, curls. This is an erroneous method of teaching writing. At first, your baby will be better off learning to write block letters, so that the hand gets used to the loads, fingers develop. In order for the child to write beautifully, he must first learn the basics of writing ordinary printed letters.

It would be great if you bought a recipe, where the letters are written in the form of dots (dotted). Such formulations greatly simplify the learning process. Children are very fond of drawing letters and words from the dots, they are often very interested in this activity.