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  • Madiin, Walang Ganang Magsulat? 5 Tips To Make Preschool Writing Activities Purposeful

    Two teachers share ways to engage children in learning how to write.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
Madiin, Walang Ganang Magsulat? 5 Tips To Make Preschool Writing Activities Purposeful
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  • Aside from preschool reading activities, we can join our children in doing preschool writing activities to help them learn the basic acedemic skills. These skills are part of the 3-year-old developmental milestones. At age three, children leave the stage of infancy and enter the early childhood stage, which is also called the preschool age.

    How preschoolers learn to write

    Writing by hand, or handwriting, is a complex skill that develops over time, according to the Australian parenting website Raising Children.  To learn this skill, children need to combine fine motor skills, language, memory, and concentration. Additionally, they also need to practice and follow instructions.

    When children reach the preschool age, they move up from discovering how to draw in their toddler years to actually drawing straight and circular lines. Then they start putting these lines and shapes together to draw objects and people, even forming letters.

    Preschool writing activities

    Experts agree that parents play a big role in how children learn how to write. Here are some tips from preschool teachers:

    Use storybooks as a jump-off point

    For toddlers transitioning into preschoolers, Karen Ruth Lorenzana-Reyes, a child development specialist, suggests the kids' favorite bedtime story may be the key to encouraging them to write.

    "Since I teach pre-reading, I use books as a springboard," says Teacher Kat. "After reading a story, I ask them questions or let them write something about the story we just read. It doesn't matter if he or she writes just one word or just the letter A; what matters is he or she feels proud about his work." 


    Let children enjoy while learning

    For preschool teacher Lyra Villaraza, it's not the form but the purpose in the children's writing. That's why she's not very particular on how the handwriting looks like, be it all capital letters or beyond the red and blue lines. She also doesn't believe in making the children write, for instance, their names over and over again to make their pensmanship look perfect.

    Teacher Lyra, who designs her own yearlong program to teach kids from 2 to 5 years, shares some of her observation. She notes that some children do not like writing at all because they find the activity too tedious and structured, with no room for them to be creative. She says what's important is for the children to have the desire to learn.

    In Teacher Lyra's class, which is online for now, she asks her students' parents to prepare a white board, where the children will write the date and day of the week they are holding the class.

    Avoid forcing the children's readiness to learn

    Teacher Lyra points out that not all children, though they are of the same age, have the same pace in learning. Some of them can easily learn how to use the standard size of pencil, but others don't.

    One reason is their muscles for this type of fine motor skill are not ready yet. So what usually happens, she explains, the children ending up writing forcefully, or madiin, and they get tired easily or maybe even dislike what they do.

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    The seasoned teacher suggests giving children jumbo pencils and crayons, or regular markers, which they can more easily grasp. Later on, she points out, the children will get the hang of using a writing implement while their muscles develop, and eventually enjoy the activity.

    Designate a corner for the children to learn

    This is especially helpful for children who have difficulty focusing, just make sure that corner in the house faces a wall rather than a window. In the case of Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio's children, they have a piece of the walls in their house for their practice writing (read here).

    Be patient

    Teacher Karen points out, "Although there are developmental milestones we watch out for which serve as a guide for us as to what to expect from children at certain ages, each child is unique. Depending on their environment and available resources, some kids may start writing earlier, some kids postpone writing until they’re in grade school, and so on."

    Both teachers remind parents to let the process unfold while doing preschool writing activities together until the kids eventually develop more skills and, importantly, their love for learning. 

    Read here to find free printable worksheets.

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