Ok, my son just started Kindergarten 2 1/2 weeks ago. I was under the impression that my child would learn how to spell his name in Kindergarten. Boy, was I wrong. My son's teacher informed me that he was the only one in his class who didn't know how to spell his name and that I would have to show him how to do this. I was so ashamed and embarrassed that I didn't teach him how before school started. But I remember when I was in Kindergarten years ago, that is when we learned how to write our names. Now I'm afraid my son will be behind the others, we couldn't afford to send him to preschool but we made too much to be on any programs. Do you have any suggestions on how to get him started? I printed out some papers to start him out, but he only has a 20 min attention span and then he wants to go play. What do I do? Do you think he will be behind in school? Sorry if I sound stupid!!
What's his name? Can you put it to music? My daughter, Lizzy, learned to sing her name to the tune of Bingo:
There was a girl and she was 4 and Lizzy was her name-o.
L I Z Z Y
L I Z Z Y
L I Z Z Y
And Lizzy was her name-o.
Or, try the tune to Twinkle, Twinkle, or a simple chant. My two learned to spell their sister's name by chanting " N A T A L I E, That's how you spell Natalie." Of course, all of this is only oral, but it's a start.
For printing practice, I'd write his name with a yellow marker and have him trace it with a pencil. I wouldn't push too hard, but I would require that he does this at least twice a day. Another fun thing is to put a little salt in a meat tray and trace his name in it with a finger. You can go first, he can follow along in your path when you're done. You can do the same with shaving cream on the tub wall, with finger paint, or with a stick in some mud.
As you're reading to him, point out letters that you see in his name. Do the same if you drive past a big sign ("Look, John, that sign says JCPenney...do you see the J, like in your name??), or while you are in the grocery store, whatever. Go on a hunt through a magazine for a certain letter of his name. Change the letter daily. Write the letters on index cards, spread them around the room and play a game (Hop to the C, now crawl to the A, now tiptoe to the L, etc.).
I've also had great success with giving kids magnadoodles, or dry erase boards. They love using them, and that motivates them to try harder.
Thank you, those are all good ideas! My son's name is Carlos, he knows how to spell it but he can't write it on paper yet. I have been working with him each night for about 20 minutes, it just feels like I'm getting no where. He wants me to write his name, and he copies it. But when I tell him to write his name without me writing it first, he has no clue. I guess it will just take time, I was just upset that his teacher isn't helping him out more??
Also, try writing his name in the carpet with his finger.
I used to help a child with words by doing rainbow writing. Get a big sheet of paper, construction paper, have him pick a color and write his name. Pick other colors, you can keep picking colors until he thinks his rainbow is done. Just keep going over and over the same letters. Make sure you are saying them out loud.
sidewalk chalk or paint (1/4 cup cornstarch to 1/4 cup water and some food coloring and you have paint!!)
Just like the above with salt trays...use a sandbox if he has one to write his name with finger or stick.
Do not make him print on lines or in lines yet. Get his basic spelling and letter formation down first.
Hope this helps!!! It'll come keep practicing...just don't make him sick of it in the process!!!
I was going to suggest rainbow writing, also. The kids enjoy that! I would send home rainbow writing packets with the students as homework. I start out with the name written in yellow marker. I place a black dot on each letter where he needs to start the stroke. He starts with one color and writes the whole name. Then, he would take another color and write the whole name again... and so on. I usually had 4 colors for the kids to use for rainbow writing.
It's important to be teaching him the right strokes when he's writing, too... Make sure he knows that letters start at the top. (A lot of kids want to start at the bottom.) Make a dot where the starting point is... It also helps some kids to have an arrow showing them which way to go from there. When I did rainbow writing with my students, I talked them through it. For Carlos, this is what I would say...
C - Over, around and open
a - over, around, and down
r - down, up and over
l - d-o-w-n
o - over, around and close
s - over, around and back
I have the kids say it with me as they are making the strokes. This way they remember where to start and which way to go.
Yes! I noticed that my younger son, who is in special needs preschool, is able to trace his name better than my older son. They use a lot of shaving cream in the preschoolers class. Also he does that over, around, close when he is spelling his name. I was suprised! I wish I could have sent my older son to preschool, but we just couldn't afford it. I will try all the tips that you guys have sent to me! Thank you so much!
Do you know what handwriting program the school uses? I would find that out. Ask the teacher to send home some of the program pages for the letters in his name. Also, ask her if she can make a name card. With Capital letter for first letter then all lower case. If she laminates it and leaves room underneath your son can copy the letters above using a vis-a-viz marker (or what ever those things are called).
There have been a lot of great ideas posted so I won't add to that, but I just wanted to reassure you that you have no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed. (I hope the teacher didn't make you feel that way!) I always have several students who do not know how to write their names. Last year I had a boy who did not know his colors. He wasn't ready. Before he started K he had no interest in learning. His mom said that once he started school, he wanted to read everyday and practice his name.
You are obviously a very caring and involved parent who wants to help your son the best you can. Keep working with him at home and things will be fine for him. Kindergarten is not what it used to be. Basically it's pre-1st-1st. Gone are the days of just learning how to color, cut, and paste. I'm sure, with your support, your son will have great year!