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Thread: Question abt pencil holding skill for 2.5 yr old

  1. #1

    Default Question abt pencil holding skill for 2.5 yr old

    DD has been going to a montessori from 2yrs old. It is a small privately run school with only 10 kids per age grp(2-3, 3-4 and 4-5) and 2 teachers for each classroom..
    They did an excellent job abt helping out with potty training etc for DD. and DD has learnt a lot since starting from there..

    They are preparing the kids for the trainsition to the 3 yr old classroom.. where the requirement is to be able to hold the pencil so they can write alphabets and small 3 letter words in the 3yr old classroom...The teacher says that DD is very interlligent and has good memory but she does not like any actviity which involves holding the pencil like coloring, drawing lines etc and at that time her focus is so bad she looks here and there or says NO to the teacher..

    I work with her at home and notice the same thing she doesnt want to do coloring or drawing lines , shapes etc but she will sit for hrs to do puzzles, read books or play any other toy etc.

    The teacher feels her hands r weak and bcoz of that she is not showing interest.

    How do I get her to focus more during coloring, writing etc at home so it will help in school as well..I bought her some fun kumon tracing books for 2yr olds...

    ANy suggestions?
    Me-(34), DH(37), DD(3y.10m) DS(9.5month)

  2. #2

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    My son is/was like this too. I try to have crayons and markers out for him to try on his own. We've tried all kinds of crayons, pencils, markers, etc. We have an easel, dry erase boards, etc. He's just not into it. We got him an etch-a-sketch for Christmas. He loves to write on it. He went from being able to write an "O" to being able to write many letters in just a couple weeks. He is really eager to learn how to write his letters now and is finally drawing, too. He is 4 years old. He has always held a pencil in a developmentally appropriate way. He just had no interest. IMO, I don't see a need to push writing or coloring on a child. I think especially at 2.5, the focus should be on developing fine motor skills so that they have the proper skills needed to hold a pencil correctly. If I were you, I would focus more on activities that develop her muscles in her hand than writing activities.

    ETA: I dont know if you are on Pinterest, but if you are looking for activities to help your LO in that area, you can search "fine motor skills" and a lot will come up. I have a board just dedicated to fine motor skills
    Last edited by i.<3.cheesysmiles; 01-27-2013 at 01:36 PM.

  3. #3

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    Play dough is great for strengthening little hands and fingers.... And yes pinterest has a ton of other activities to help.
    Katie~
    DD1 (7) DD2 (4) DS1 (22 months) Baby #4 EDD 7/13/14

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    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    My son is/was like this too. I try to have crayons and markers out for him to try on his own. We've tried all kinds of crayons, pencils, markers, etc. We have an easel, dry erase boards, etc. He's just not into it. We got him an etch-a-sketch for Christmas. He loves to write on it. He went from being able to write an "O" to being able to write many letters in just a couple weeks. He is really eager to learn how to write his letters now and is finally drawing, too. He is 4 years old. He has always held a pencil in a developmentally appropriate way. He just had no interest. IMO, I don't see a need to push writing or coloring on a child. I think especially at 2.5, the focus should be on developing fine motor skills so that they have the proper skills needed to hold a pencil correctly. If I were you, I would focus more on activities that develop her muscles in her hand than writing activities.

    ETA: I dont know if you are on Pinterest, but if you are looking for activities to help your LO in that area, you can search "fine motor skills" and a lot will come up. I have a board just dedicated to fine motor skills
    I agree to focus on fine motor skills rather than writing.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  5. #5

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    I am sure that it is against Montessori philosophy to have a requirement that a 3 year old hold the crayon right or to be able to write letters. The very core of their philosophy is that children acquire skills at their own pace and to follow their interest. This cannot be a requirement in a regular preschool either as it is considered a very advanced skill for a 3 year old. Finally, 3 yo preschool should be strictly play based with very little academics.

    I agree that fine motor skills are what will teach her to hold the crayon right, it is likely that she does not have the muscle strength.

    However, this requirement is such a huge red flag for me that I would be most definitely looking for another preschool. I dont want to sound like a downer but this is really in sharp contrast with everything i have read about their schools. My ds1 went to a montessori school for 2 years too adn i have read all the brochures from there.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  6. #6

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    And a 2 year old should not be forced to color books and much less write letters.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  7. #7
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    What Tanya said. DD has been going to Montessori since she was 2 as well, and there is no requirement for any age kid in that group to be able to hold a pen, or be able to write. The topic has come up previously, and her teacher said that 4 is about average for when kids can start writing letters, and when there are 3 year olds that can (there are some in her class), it is encouraged.

    It is also a little strange that the classes are split up the way they are; it misses the mentoring aspect of Montessori, where classrooms are typically mixed age group (3-6).

  8. #8

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    Those requirements are not appropriate for a child that age and I agree focus on motor skills in fun ways! I am sad that your school is trying to pinpoint a weakness such as this in your child. They are way off, imo. She may not be interested in that yet and that is fine and completely normal!

  9. #9
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    I agree with the others who said it is too early to worry about pushing writing skills!
    I also agree that there are lots of fun ways to develop fine motor skills, but I just read a blog that discussed how gross motor skills are the precursor to fine motor skills. They work together. It was a very interesting read discussing that if you want your kid to start writing, put the pencils down and let them go play!
    http://movingsmartblog.blogspot.com/...ready-for.html

  10. #10

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    I agree w/Tanya. Way too early to be focusing on this.



  11. #11

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    Wow, 2.5 is really early imo. I was really surprised that DD2 held crayons correctly at 2 while I worked with DS who was 4 at the time to hold them right. It's certainly not a norm. For him we did a lot of activities using tweezers to improve his fine motor skills and strengthen his fingers. I agree Pintrest has lots of ideas.

  12. #12

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    DS is in preschool (albeit a traditional one) with fifteen 3-6 year olds, and no writing is required beyond practicing their name once or twice per week. They work on pencil grip and tracing letters, but only the letters in their names and from what the teacher mentioned at conferences, they don't expect proficiency for any of the kids.
    I know some 3 year old who have excellent fine motor development and can write/trace letters, but under 3 I can't imagine it being anything but rare.

    [/CENTER]

  13. #13
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    ITA with Tanya.

    My DD is about the same age (will be 3 in 4 months). She likes to write H because her name starts with it and because it is only 3 lines (think a whole page with 2 vertical lines and one horizontal line crossing them in a random spot). I am not really sure how much the preschool encourages writing but if they sent any "homework" or were requiring her to write better than having fun with letter H, I would pull her out in a heartbeat.

    When DS was in the same preschool 2 years ago, they tried to get the kids to trace their names (large letters, the name fit the whole page). DS at nearly 3 could not do it (and I was never told that he had to learn to do it). For what it is worth, by 3 1/2 DS was able to write anything upper and lower case, would write birthday cards for friends and family members (of course, with me telling him what letter to write), write words he knows how to spell, etc. But he still does not draw anything beyond a smiley face and he does not color either (never has).

    At this age I would focus on play activities to towards fine motor skills that are fun for her (like playdoh, stringing beads, etc.) and if you feel that there truly is a physical problem based on more age appropriate activities, I would consult your pediatrician.

  14. #14

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    My dd is 3.5 and in August they started learning and practicing letters. She signs in every morning by tracing her name on paper. That being said she loves crayons and markers and drawing. I know there are kids in her room that won't sign in yet and they don't worry about it at all. It will come. Seems like a crazy skill to expect of a child at 2.5.

    Mommy to Piper 6/5/09 and an 11/2011
    Make a pregnancy ticker

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    We had our parent teacher conference today, and one of the things we discussed was 'pre-writing' skills. She said to encourage play with Play-doh, painting, and drawing, and 'life skills', all of which build both fine and gross motor skills. I found out today, that after doing beginning sounds, they move on to 'letter box'. Basically, the kids learn to spell words using the beginning sounds they learned, but instead of writing, they pick the letters out of a box and arrange them according to the sounds. There is NO talk of writing AT ALL, and DD will be 3 in February.

  16. #16

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    Ok Ladies thanks for all the responses,

    So I had a talk with the teacher today and apparently I understood it all wrong. They took me inside and showed all the stuff they do to improve the fine motor skills and improve the muscles.. they have tons of hands on activities beads, cutting, sorting, spooning etc to name a few.. They were not making her write.. I think the concern was when they try to get her to involve her with activities involving her hands(some of them not all for example she loves cutting).. she refuses point blank by saying "NO". I think they have tried offering her rewards like stars etc but she wudnt budge and she also doesnt focus.. so the teachers point is they were hoping she wud atleast attempt and she was trying to tell me to work on stuff like play dough etc at home so she eventually gets an interest..

    Thanks for all the tips on the pinterest board, I am going to check it out so I can work with her at home as well....

    How do I get her to focus? even at home she easily gets distracted..and wants to jump from one toy/acitivity to the next..
    Last edited by pray2god; 01-28-2013 at 11:35 AM.
    Me-(34), DH(37), DD(3y.10m) DS(9.5month)

  17. #17

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    I am glad it is not a requirement but it still too much pressure on a 2 year old to focus on fine motor skills. I don't think there is ANYTHING you can do to make her focus at this age, and I think it is actually detrimental for her. You can offer fun activities such as playdo, building blocks, big legos, beads but you cannot get her interested if she is not. If she is saying NO to the teacher it means she does not want to do it. She is 2, not 5. This is way too much pressure and if anything, it might turn her off from these activities in the future.

    If she were my child, I would tell the teachers that I enrolled her in a Montessori school so she can do what interests her and she does not feel under pressure to complete assignments and milestones. I would cite to numerous sources available at libraries, internet, books etc. A Montessori school CANNOT and SHOULD NOT by any stretch insist that a parent get a child interested in something or continue gently nudging an activity when the child is saying NO. This is traditional school approach for older children!!!! SHE IS NOT EVEN 3, she is not close to kinder. This should not a concern AT ALL
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyachap View Post
    I am glad it is not a requirement but it still too much pressure on a 2 year old to focus on fine motor skills. I don't think there is ANYTHING you can do to make her focus at this age, and I think it is actually detrimental for her. You can offer fun activities such as playdo, building blocks, big legos, beads but you cannot get her interested if she is not. If she is saying NO to the teacher it means she does not want to do it. She is 2, not 5. This is way too much pressure and if anything, it might turn her off from these activities in the future.

    If she were my child, I would tell the teachers that I enrolled her in a Montessori school so she can do what interests her and she does not feel under pressure to complete assignments and milestones. I would cite to numerous sources available at libraries, internet, books etc. A Montessori school CANNOT and SHOULD NOT by any stretch insist that a parent get a child interested in something or continue gently nudging an activity when the child is saying NO. This is traditional school approach for older children!!!! SHE IS NOT EVEN 3, she is not close to kinder. This should not a concern AT ALL
    I completely agree.

    I think it is important to offer choices and opportunities for a child to develop all areas, but never to force them ir put too much of a focus on them. Perhaps she is working on developing in another area and it could be cognitive - something that you may not see right now and working on fine motor skills is just too much to tackle right now. If it were me, I would take a break and revisit in a few months.

  19. #19

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    I agree with Tanyachap. At this age they should be following her interests and creating activities or simply providing manipulatives for her based off her interests. If she doesn't want to do it there should be no pressure at all. On you or her.

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    Agree with Tanya. There are other activities that involve hands that can help with developing the right motor skills, and if anything, the teachers should find out what interests her AND helps with her motor skills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    Agree with Tanya. There are other activities that involve hands that can help with developing the right motor skills, and if anything, the teachers should find out what interests her AND helps with her motor skills.
    Yup. This.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by pray2god View Post
    How do I get her to focus? even at home she easily gets distracted..and wants to jump from one toy/acitivity to the next..
    You don't. She's 2.5. Focusing is not in her repertoire right now, and that's as it should be.



  23. #23

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    Yes, jumping g from one activity to the next is exactly what she should be doing!

  24. #24

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    I agree with the others! 2.5 is too early to worry about writing. And it is not the montessori model to be concerned about it. And focus comes later as well!

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