I was talking to Casey the other day about the reality of reversals that children have when learning letters, learning to read, or writing words like their name. I know, how many people talk about this kind of stuff on the phone? I can name two.
But the truth is that when children are writing their letters backwards when they already “know” the “right way”, it can be very frustrating for parents and even teachers who are not aware of typical brain development. Reversals such as writing “b” when trying to write “d” or writing the name Jessica “acisseJ” or some form of mirroring the name is NORMAL. Why is that normal? Because the brain makes some of the greatest changes in children throughout their early years. The brain has a lot of maturing to do in the way that children process information, store it into their brains, and recall the info from memory.
But there is hope…here are some of the ways that you can help your kiddos get through this process: 1) teaching pre-reading skills in sequence, 2) teaching letters and numbers using hands-on forms of the letters so children can use more than one of their senses, 3) repetition of one letter at a time instead of introducing “d” and ‘b” together, etc., 4) NOT getting frustrated when they make mistakes or have reversals 5) helping the process of maturing the brain through exercise and interactions.
You want your little one to enjoy the process of learning and a big part of their brain development includes your POSITIVE GUIDANCE. I want you to imagine if you were in China tomorrow, with no one who spoke English. As different as the oral and written language is from your own, can you imagine if your teacher was getting frustrated with you while you are trying to learn such a foreign language. You will naturally have to study the basics over and over again, and even after studying, you will still mix things up a bit when you are writing.
So, I hope this gives you a little more insight into your child’s learning struggles that are natural and normal and all that good stuff.
Today’s “assignment” is to be gracious as you practice the basics today!
*This article shares about some typical writing behaviors to expect from a young child. but if you have serious concerns about your child’s learning abilities then consult a specialist.