Education.com
Try
Brainzy
Try
Plus
education.com
education.com asks:
Q:

Should preschoolers be learning cursive?

"My granddaughter is in the pre-k program and brought home a worksheet teaching her the letter "k". Is she supposed to be learning a cursive "k" at this age? I thought it a bit unusual. A printed lower case k is difficult enough. Please respond. Thank you!"

Asked by Karen via email.
In Topics: Preschool, Helping my child with writing
> 60 days ago

|

Expert

TheGoToMom
Jun 16, 2010
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

Research has shown that children under five need no formal academic instruction. In fact, children who come from loving homes where the parents often play and  have frequent conversations have children who fair very well in Kindergarten.  The best indicator if a child will be a good reader and writer is if the parents have books available at home along with being read to. A home where a child who is exposed to books in many different rooms of their home, is more likely to read then the child who is taken to a library. Funny huh? However, this is what the research shows.

The only thing children under five years of age need to be academically prepared, is to be raised in a loving, supportive, book enriched, non-abusive/impoverished environment.  A young child's brain and muscle development is still processing at a primitive level, so if formal academics are introduced too early, then there is a possibility of creating a learning disability by forcing nature.  Or worse yet, killing their spirit and making them lose their love of learning, which all children are born with. By the time a child turns five they begin to show interest and peaked confidence in using a pencil and paper. School enhances their predetermined skills an helps them to pick up reading and writing fairly quick.

I never taught my son how to hold a pencil or crayon. In fact, he hated pencils. After one week in Kindergarten, he came home took out his pencil can and began to write letters. I was shocked and reaffirmed that we did the right thing by not pushing any formal instruction.  ABC magnets on the frig, singing the ABCs, labeling animals and pictures in books was all we really did wit him.

Children under five should be playing outside, singing, building, creating, painting, experimenting with glue and strings,  laughing and getting real dirty.

Did you find this answer useful?
3
yes
2
no

Additional Answers (5)

vdancer
vdancer writes:
You are right.  This is an unusual, and unhelpful, challenge for a young child.  A good preparation for learning to write is lots of romping and other healthy movement play to help develop her senses and integrate her brain development.  Offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy holding a crayon. Drawing, coloring, and painting will help develop a comfortable grip while holding a future pencil and pen.  

Here's an interesting article from NYTimes on this subject. Good luck!

Valerie

Did you find this answer useful?
2
yes
0
no
lynellen
lynellen writes:
I agree with these answers as well but generally we do not live in a "developmentally correct" preschool world anymore.  Children are being pushed younger and younger to write and read.  If a child is being taught letters in preschool, it is extremely important that the letters are learned correctly for writing.  A child will attempt to write if that is the requirement of the class with or without good instruction.  Once those motor movements are placed in motor memory, it is very difficult to change them.  As a therapist I am often asked to change the letter formation patterns after a child has been making them incorrectly since prek.  It is almost impossible to do so.  
Please make sure if your child is writing (developmentally correct or not) that the letters are always correctly made.
Many Montesorrei programs use a modified cursive rather than block print.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
1
yes
0
no
MimiR
MimiR writes:
I prefer a cursive-first approach if loopy cursive is to be taught at all.  That said, most preschoolers probably can't handle it.  Most first graders can, though.

As long as she is having fun, what does it hurt?  Bravo!  She's having fun learning a new skill!  If she isn't, there's a problem.

As far as whether kids "need" academic preschool--you could argue that they don't "need" academic middle school or high school, either.  It all depends on your definition of "need."  And the expert's opinion presumes to know all children when such a declaration is really quite equivalent to saying that little girls don't "need" a bra in third grade.  While it's true that some don't (and that no girls ever "need" one by some definitions), others do, and how many depends on your standards of what needing a bra means.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
1
yes
0
no
80jones
80jones writes:
I agree with some points from others. Cursive is highly inappropriate for preschool children to learn. Learning at this age should involve many conversations and play activities. I disagree with the statement that children under 5 need no formal education. I am a Head Start teacher and I work with children from low income households. Children need to learn conflict resolution skills; and be introduced to those skills kindergarten will expect them to have some exposure to. Children should be exposed to holding writing tools and letters and numbers. It's the approach that is important. Learning should always be geared by the child and never forced. It should be fun and help children continue to be curious about learning. It's that curiosity that builds strong life long learners.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
Izatamie
Izatamie writes:
A child in preschool 2 or kg2 should do cursive k
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
Answer this question