How do I get my daughter to sit still to learn to write

by Patricia Koh, Founder-Director

My daughter is four years old. She is currently attending a nursery class for three hours from Monday to Friday. At present, she knows how to write only the numbers one and two, and the letter 'A'. My colleague's daughter is also her age but can write 'A' to 'Z', as well as her name. How do I get my daughter to sit still to learn to write?

Learning to read, write and count can be quite easy for a child if your approach is relevant to her.

Children love to clap, sing and dance. Find opportunities to sing number songs that are meaningful and fun for them, such as: '1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive!' If you sing to your child when you are counting steps, or when you are at the supermarket counting fruit, the sequence of the numbers will be repeated and remembered.

Try marking out the birthdays of family members on the calendar and get your child to cross out each day as it passes.

To help her learn to write her name, make up a song with the letters to help her to remember how to spell it. You can also make name tags together, or sign off with her name on greeting cards.

These hands-on and enjoyable activities will also encourage bonding.

Each child is different and unique. Comparing your child with another of the same age may not be helpful. Keep looking for your daughter's strengths and work on them. Believe in her and continue to support her writing, reading or counting through activities such as gardening, cooking and shopping.

Praise her when she does her numbers and letters, and help her understand that whatever she does is important. This will build her self-esteem.

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