Steph Lewis and I attended training for Kinetic Letters, in Stourbridge on 25th January 2018.
The course looked at how children learn to hold a pencil, write and form letters correctly.
Learning to write and form letters correctly requires more than the development of fine motor skills. Children need excellent core strength. They need the muscles of the shoulders, back, abdomen and arms to be strong and mobile.
Societal changes have impacted upon the way in which babies and children play and sleep. Thirty years ago, there were no car seats, baby recliners or pushchairs for babies. Instead a baby would spend time on their tummy on the floor or seated in a carriage pram, without head support, inside or outside. Babies now spend time in car seats, pushchairs and baby recliners. The result of these changes is that we are now seeing babies with, ‘flat head syndrome’ Or babies who move about by ‘bottom shuffling’ as they haven’t spent enough time on their tummy to develop the core strength to crawl.
We know too that childhood has changed. Less time is spent playing outside with friends, climbing trees, running or playing ball games. Instead childhood may involve long periods of time being sedentary, indoors watching or using a screen. Again, children are not developing muscle strength in their arms, shoulders and abdomen.
Today children entering Reception year will need to spend time developing their core strength and muscle tone before they can move on to actually holding a pencil!
We think we’re in the very best position to prepare children for writing from the very beginning of their time with us! We can actively promote and support the development of core strength with our babies and toddlers. We are then giving children the best opportunity to learn to hold a pencil and form letters when they are in pre-school and in our Reception class.
How we will be implementing this training at Shrewsbury Prepatoria is covered here.