Coaching A Preschool Child
Handwriting and Reading Readiness
There are two related issues that cause difficulties for a beginner - perception and ergonomics. Simple instruction can help your child learn correct movement patterns. Learning correct patterns in the beginning eliminates any need to relearn. It makes sense that this would present a great advantage for language skill development.
A left-handed child faces some special obstacles relating to directionality and ergonomics. If your child is left-handed please visit this link to learn specific coaching techniques - Coaching Position Skills.
A Toy Dinosaur
No wonder so many little ones have trouble learning the difference between letters d, b, and p when they are limited to a visual recognition process. This brings us to the link between physical and visual that can improve recognition fluency.
Use the image of the letter to the right. Move your cursor to the spot where the letter starts and click that spot. A new window will open and display an animation.
The fact that you can choose a start point means that you are "seeing" movements even though the image is static. The movements are in the handwriting motor patterns you learned. Others may well have chosen a different start point because they learned a different process for production. There are actually three different "hot" start points on the image. Each presents commonly used production processes. Only one movement process best supports the top down, left to right pattern of our language. The others present movements that would conflict with fluent ocular tracking. Please go back to the original image and search for the other two hot links.
Invention or Instruction?
What Should You Do?
This simple, four-step procedure works. Remember, the goal is process. Product accuracy will get better as practice improves control. All practice should be large. We are working on gross motor patterns. In the beginning, avoid using paper with lines. The first objective is letter pattern integration. A magic slate, chalkboard or magna-doodle will work well for patterning practice. After letter patterns are established it will be much easier for a child to understand the concept of place in space with lined paper.
This YouTube video demonstrates the design intent of the textbook, it is also demonstrating the unique teaching method that makes it easy to teach smooth, fluent movement from the beginning or at any level with our color/rhythm models. It is that challenge, learning how to make the movements smoothly, that enhances the rate of internalization. The goal is to create patterns for the movements in the motor system. Once the "process pattern" is established, the child will be able to bring the letter from "inside the brain" and will no longer need to look at a picture of the letter in order to produce the image.