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Woodcote Primary School


What can you do to help your child develop in Oak Class - 24th Feb 2014

Some common worries…


● Pencil grip: Children who are developing  strange pencil grips do so because they are  desperately looking for a way to control their  movements. The grip used by young children will usually improve as their hand movements  become more controlled, so long as they are not put under pressure to gain control  by doing a lot of tracing or being expected  to produce small writing. It is quite hard to  change pencil grip in older children and, so long as the grip works for the child, it is often  best to leave it.


● Back to front letters: Children have to rely on  their memory to write letters until they become  good readers. This means that nearly all  children will reverse their letters early on, or  miss letters out of words.


● Left-handed children: Children are born  being either right-handed or left-handed and  this normally shows by about three years. Left-handed children find it easier if they are  writing on a slope and benefit from having opportunities to do large scale mark-making.  If a child has not developed a hand preference  by three years, look out for regular activities  around the home where one hand is used to stabilise the child and the other is doing something active, such as drying a plate or  chopping a peeled banana.


● Spelling usually becomes more accurate as  children learn to read. It is worth taking a  relaxed approach because, if children become  anxious about how to write down a word, they  may develop a habit of only writing what they know they can spell. This leads to children writing less and, in the end, they become less  imaginative writers. Even so, once children  begin to read it is worth pointing out words  that ‘play tricks’ on us in the way they are spelt  – words like ‘phantom’, ‘knight’ or ‘would’.  Doing this can help children remember the  words later on.


● Children who are not interested: Mark-making  must be fun for children. Try putting out ‘real’ pens and paper or taking out a bucket of  water and a paintbrush for children to enjoy  playing with them. Try hard not to pass comments about how young children’s writing  looks, as this can put some children off. And  remember that children need to see the adults around them writing.


 Remember to have fun with them.