Should I be worried that my 4 1/2 year old can't write his name and has no interest in doing so?

Michelle - posted on 11/17/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My little boy will be 5 in April and shows no interest when it comes to learning to read and write. Should I be worried? He starts full time school in January. Has anyone else had this experience with their children?

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Leslie - posted on 11/18/2009

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Great answers! :) and I totally agree, all kids develop at different rates. I think there is way to much pressure for our children to already know. a majority of what they should actually be learning in school. It's ridiculous for teachers to "test" our children before they have even had any kind of school experience! My son, wasn't interested in writing or reading at 5 yrs old either.

Alisha - posted on 09/17/2013

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I have the same problem with my 4yr old son. He isn't interested in learning to write or read either. I try to sit with him and make fun games out it but he doesn't want to learn. I don't know what to do either.

Shanell - posted on 09/21/2012

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We've got 3 boys: A 6 YO and 4-1/2 YO twins. The 6YO - nooooo problem. Teaching him anything as a toddler was a cakewalk. These twins? Insanity ensued. One eagerly listened to his older brother and copied everything he said/did, and the other? Showed no interest in it. Kept working with him a few mins a day - still no interest. Once he started Pre-K, his teacher asserted he was concerned about doing it "incorrectly," so he just didn't try. Turns out, he's a perfectionist, lol. She suggested that we give him "silly time" with his writing: put shaving cream in an aluminum pan and let him smooth out a layer and write his letters in that with fingers; use small paintbrushes and canvas; use popsicle sticks to form,and let him trace with a crayon. It's working. I think once the formal pressure was off, he relaxed and just took it from there. He'll be 5 in March and he's doing spectacularly. Hang in there! It will get better, but the CONFIDENCE building is the essential part, not the skill/technique.

Anupama - posted on 09/17/2013

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my daughter is 5 year old and she is very stubben and did not write even a single word in school what will i do

Bethany - posted on 02/24/2014

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There is too much emphasis today on younger kids having to be academically successful according to most school standards. Most actual experts in the area of early child development (and no, most people in charge of school curriculum do not follow standards that the experts recommend) want kids as young as 4 and 5 to be able to read and write, count, and do a vast amount of activities that people like us did not have to do when we were that young. These same school officials will also claim that the children are capable of learning these things and use that as a reason to push them into filling out worksheets and doing on-cue tasks. Kids do not successfully learn this way! Kids above everything, need to feel confident. The younger the kids are, the more they learn through PLAY. Do not underestimate play! If you want to introduce your 4 year old to letters and numbers, incorporate it into their playtime. Do not force it! That is actually one way that kids start to hate learning. Play-based learning, where the child discovers what they want to learn has been proven over and over again to be the very best way for kids to learn how to learn. Here is a good link you may want to check out also: http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlyc...

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Claribel - posted on 03/23/2014

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I am having the same problem with my 4 1/2 year old girl. She has no interest and does not want to focus. I try teaching her but she is easily distracted with anything else going on around her. I feel like pulling my hair. What should I do??

Chris - posted on 01/28/2013

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I would not worry. My first did not write most letters until after 5. He just was not interested until he saw some other boys doing it.

Marium - posted on 01/03/2013

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i have 2 daughters one is 4 and one is 5 but they both didnt read and write properly at this age my son read bilboards and write sentences i dont know who to teach them

Ann Marie - posted on 09/14/2012

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My son is five and he really enjoys writing his name and other words if its without the conventional pen or pencil. I sometimes write his name and he'll trace over it with colored glues. Make it a fun game and something he can be proud of and put of the fridge. Try this and before you know it, he'll be writing his name all on his own.

Jessica - posted on 09/13/2012

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I have gotten him workbooks, flash cards, puzzles, magnet alphabets, and beginner pencils to work with at home. Offering stickers or a treat if he's good and doesn't put up a fuss when time to practice seems to help my son some. Good luck and hang in there. You and I are in the same boat.

Jessica - posted on 09/13/2012

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I'm having a similar experience with my 5 year old who just turned 5 in July. He was in preschool for over 2 years and apparently they didn't teach him much of anything, if I would have known I would have been working with him before now and or would have waited to send him to school until next year. Now that he's in school he's been having problems with writing his name and recognizing the alphabet amongst other things. The teacher basically just told me it was likely he would fail. Very discouraging. I also need tips on making learning interesting to him because he doesn't seem interested at all.

Natalie - posted on 09/07/2012

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I get sick in tired of the boy girl thing. My 3.5 year old BOY can write very well and my newly 7 year old girl struggles so much with writing and drawing. She has dysgraphia. Her drawing look like maybe a 4 year old did them. All kids are different. I had concerns with her fine motor skills early on....if your worried get help.

Nicola - posted on 08/31/2012

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My son is 4 years old and he is not writing. He is good at letter sound and counting be he does not like to write or colour. I think we are hard on him as the teacher says that he must be able to copy words from the chalk board. He is not colouring within the borders.



Please advise me

Jakethia - posted on 08/08/2010

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Yes, you should be worry about it, it good to go to the library or a good book store to get your son a book, and read to him once a day. You should also give him a paper to write his name or show him how to do it, it good to get your son ready, before he enter in the kindergarten and he will be so proud of his mom for helpping him.

Arlene - posted on 08/08/2010

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Don't worry.I started teaching my child when he was 1 year old, i bought him 2 pcs. of ABC's poster, i post it beside his bed and at his door. everytime he wakes up he glance at it and he started pointing at the letters. Everyday i spend 15-30 min of teaching him, i start it with a play and sing a song of ABC. I let him familiarize 1 letter for 1 week, and when he gets used to it i add the second letter and so on. when he turns 2 years old he can easily pronounce the right letter. When he gets familiar to the ABC i started him teaching how to hold the pencil correctly and hold his hand while writing down the first letter and so on. When he was 3 years old i enrolled him in a 1 month summer class for basic reading, his teacher was amazed, because my child knows how to read and pronounce the right sound of the letter. And now at the age of 5 years old he is in grade 1, and he's reaching for top 1. Im so proud of my son. and my 2 year old daughter now knows how to write the letter A. Teaching a child needs a lot of time, you must have patience.

Lorena - posted on 11/20/2009

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well my son is the same i hope once they get to kinder everything will change.

Christina - posted on 11/20/2009

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I am having the same experience with my daughter. She will be 5 in February, Ive been printing worksheets off the internet but all she wants to do is color them. Shell be getting screened for kindergarten im april, and im afraid theyll say shes not ready :(.

Amanda - posted on 11/19/2009

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my son wouldnt even try when he started school in aug. but now can spell his name and kinda sorta write it make it fun for him pull out his favorite box of cookies or cereal and help him find the letters in his name he will start to memorize them i am amazed at the progress chris has made in 90 days

Angela - posted on 11/19/2009

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I dont think so our kids know exactly how far we are willing to push them. I wouldn't make it a big issue. Kindergarten is a really fun time. Reinforce the basics now manners...etc and find a great teacher keep an open relationship and it will work out fine.

Ashley - posted on 11/19/2009

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My son was the exact same way, but man, you should have seen him when he got into kindegarten, the transformation was amazing.... Not to say that he will be a writer or anything, but when we were practicing these things, his little sister seemed to be learning more than he was... and I was soooo worried about him entering school. Well he was shy, so he got off to a slow start, but everyone quickly realized that he had been listening the whole time, and he knew much more than anyone had thought.....

Jakki - posted on 11/18/2009

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Everybody is saying the same as I was goign to say - DO NOT WORRY! All the parents of boys I know say the same thing. My son started school at 5 1/2 and he could barely write his name - i was embarrassed but nearly all the other boys were the same. He's now 7 and is only starting to write OK now. I have a little girl the same age as your son and all she wants to do all day is sit around drawing and writing - it really is a girl thing. I should add she can't count up to 20 despite me and her siblings trying to teach her... kids all have their strengths and weaknesses.

[deleted account]

No, don't worry.

Go about learning playfully - spell out easy words you see and voice them phonetically. He'll soon catch on and get interested, at the very latest when he notices that everyone else in his class is doing it.

My daughter is turning 4 next month and we play spelling games on the way to Kindergarten - e.g. I spy something, and that's a c-a-r. Then she says the word and we do one or two similar (c-a-t, for example). Then it's her turn. It doesn't matter if she spells it wrong phonetically, it's just important that she's getting a feel for the words and how they are put together.

Stacy - posted on 11/17/2009

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My 4 year old started pre school this year, and is just learning to that. Check with your local schools, and see what he needs to know or be doing to start kindergarten, and go from there. He has almost a year to learn. If you want him to learn, try making it in to a game. My daughter learned to right her letters by doing cross words with her papa.

We just went to parent teacher confrence, they told me the things they expect from the kindergarten children, and I was shocked. Look into it just for your own piece of mind.

Lori - posted on 11/17/2009

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Don't worry about it. I have a child that would not learn it if I was the teacher but did great one had a teacher. ALso little boys learn things at a slower rate so if we didn't send them to school til 8 yrs old they would be at same stage as his peers. If you need to feel like he's learning it let him write in rice, shaving cream or in other fun ways that won't seem like he's working. Good luck and don't press to hard.

Samantha - posted on 11/17/2009

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my daughter is similar - shes an all or nothing lil miss! once hes in class and sees the other kids giving it a go he will probably be too excited to run home and tell you about how kick ass his name looks :) or you could try making a game out of it , say mummy can write her name , can you try to copy?

Tina - posted on 11/17/2009

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No sweetheart, it a process, and i believe he will eventually do that. Just keep coaching him, loving him, tell him he can do it. But the trick you have to believe in him and transfer that positive belief to him. Trust me i have twins they are 4 1/2 too and one started to talk clearer than the other. I wanted the two of them to develop the same, but they are so different. And patience is the Key. He will do it dont worry.

Christine - posted on 11/17/2009

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I work with kids with learning disablities some kids just dont want to sit still to do the work but you should start with games that are fun for hime not just markers and paper but there are so many fun ways to get him to try and there is always a small chance that he has a learning curve so you should talk to your childs Dr and just make sure to be safe if you want so ideas let me know I have tons

Morgan - posted on 11/17/2009

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I would not worry. Just try and work with him every day for about 10 to 15 minutes. I found that the workbooks at Walmart--in the children's book section--worked really good with my little girl. Each page had stimulating pictures and letters for her to trace and she began to really enjoy it! They have books that are specific to each age or grade and some even have specific disney characters in them to make it look more fun to the child. Hope this helps alittle!!

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