Stubborn 4 year old in Pre-K, & Not writing her name - FamilyEducation
Stubborn 4 year old in Pre-K, & Not writing her name
12/02/2012 at 09:37 AM

My Daughter Makenzie started Pre-k about 4 months ago. When she first started she was ahead of most the kids there, I had taught her the abc song, she knew her name, birthday, colors, shapes, and could count to 15 in english, and to 5 in spanish. Among a few other little things.
Now, its like shes gone backwards. Her teacher just sends her work home with her somedays, because Makenzie just wont do it. She doesn't try, she doesn't care, you could bribe her the world, she just refuses.
One thing we are having the most trouble with his her name. She is the only one in her class who wont write her name, she wont even try.. She will write an M but thats about it.
Ive tried so many things, printing out worksheets, we've tried one letter at a time.. She has NO interest what so ever. And i tried my hardest to not get upset with her, some times i just get so frustraited. My house has turned into a learning zone, theres letters everywhere, on every door, Her name is posted up everywhere.
I've tried so many things, We've done skittles/mnms for every letter she attempts to write, she gets more if she does it write, i praise her like shes written a novel every letter i do get her to trace. Which isnt many.
Even tracing things, she just doesn't do it. She will make scribbles around it, maybe a circle or a line. Then just shuts down, and starts making excuses "i have to pee, i'm hungry, my tummy hurts, etc."
Ive tried making games, We even sat on the bathroom counter with expo markers drawing on the mirror.. i had her interest for maybe 3 minutes, and it was done.
She loves school, she just doesnt want to anything while shes there. She only goes from 1-3, and she had never given me any trouble going.
I don't want them to hold her back, because of this.
Anyone have any ideas? i mean ive about tried everything. I dont know what to do.

Can't you see that you are pushing her too much and too far. It has been traumatic enough for her starting nursery. Let her adapt to that first. Every time you push her you are chipping away at her self-confidence a little bit more. SHE IS ONLY 4!

Too much? I disagree. It doesn't sound like she is crying or breaking down. She needs basic writing skills to be ready for kindergarten. I teach kinder and standards are writing sentences with inventive spelling and sentence structure with details like pronouns, verbs, and adverbs. I wouldn't stress too much they can't hold her back without your permission. Let her go to kinder first for a full day schedule. Full day school is different and sometimes does the trick. Don't think either she will be this way always. At 4 fine motor is not fully developed and the frontal lobe that stores schema isn't fully developed for years. Just keep it fun and positive. She can write in salt, bathtub crayons, shaving cream, build it out of sticks, chalk. You can play name swap. She can write mommy and you write her name on name tags. Call each other by these names and make it silly. Then get her to write her name to stick on someone else. If she doesn't feel your stress she won't be.

Well, each to their own opinions and experience. I am also a childcare professional but we focus on being child led. At least you conclude that there is stress for the poor child.

Child led is great if you use it right. Children could extend what they learn on their own through station. Full time doesn't work though. I'm assuming bc you said child care professional your not teaching school age. Talk to your local schools about standards. I unfortunely get kids every year who are Not ready for kinder who were in daycare or preK. Don't stress the kids out or push them; that is not the idea. With standards changing (I don't agree with), teachers are forced to take out some exploration and just teach. If it is all child led who needs teachers right? For supervision? I can't expect a child to just figure out math facts, grammer, vocabulary, and classifications all on their own. Most ppl don't know these things but in TX we have what used to be 2 nd grade standards. It's hard for the poor babies and teachers to try and come up with ways to teach these standards w/out hurting the them. It does help if they do get some proper exposure early.

I have to say that we are an award winning nursery and have visitors from all corners of the world to see our practice which is ground breaking. We work on Froebelian principles with children between the ages of 3 months to school age, which in Britain is between the ages of 4 to 5. When the children in our care leave to enter school, we always recieve high praise for their independance, confidence, abilities and self-esteem. we do follow-ups and find that in general, our children achieve more. I do appreciate that the American system is different however.

That's wonderful! I didn't mean to come off negative. I do love that practice in some regard. I wish we could reform our school standards by development to make that a possible practice. It's our states demands and restraints put on teachers on how to teach that don't allow for it. This is why I was saying to prepare students ahead of time. We get lots of students from a private montisouri school who are almost a grade level behind. I think if you attempt that type of teaching you need to have lots of resources and be extremely purposeful. It is hard here how private daycares attempt this practice, which often ends in play, then kids are shell shocked when they go to school. I'm glad it works for you but it is also easier with younger kids. Once you dive into deeper material, especially vocabulary, it's not always applicable. Do your private schools use that same teaching style full time. Is there no whole group teaching or formal assessments?

Unfortunately, there are not too many places like ours in Britain, and I just wish there were, as it does seem to be the way forward. Most state nurseries do more formal work and the children are institutionalised more or less. Good private daycare is hard to find. In our nursery, we have special insurance to allow the children to do risky play, and they are allowed to make a lot of choices for themselves. that way they learn to regulate themselves. We talk about good choices and bad ones. We also ask them to decide if a problem they may have is a 'big deal' or a 'little deal'. They learn to recognise their own strengths. The children are taught about choices, and making good or bad ones. We have outdoor kindergartens which the children love.

We do have a lot of wonderful resources but most of them have been bought with money raised by staff and by the work we do showing our practice to visitors etc. I used to feel sorry for children starting school and having to deal with the change when I worked in other nurseries. I have been in this centre for the last 7 years however and have absolutely no qualms about how the children are going to cope when they leave us. Yes, we are dealing with children a lot younger, but it is lovely to see them from babyhood right up to school age. I do realise that you are tied in what you are allowed to do, and resources may not always be there. Sorry if I jumped in there, just a different way of working.

I'm glad to hear we actually have a lot in common. Lots of what you said is great. Many of the things you talked about I am able to do. I just get so frustrated with how high our standards are, the short period of time to teach, and the assumption that kids come in on level. I mean it's crazy the way they have our system set up. The kids are forced to write sentences after a couple of weeks with inventive spelling and many come to me not knowing their letters or how to write their name. I think the rushing of education, lack of exploration, and freedoms to teach in all different learning styles is a big issue with a lot of American schools. I guess we do what we can. I just didn't want to discourage this parent from trying to help her kid get to where she needs to be bc it will only get harder for the poor girl. Thanks for info it was really interesting.

No problem. Good luck with all that you do.