Writing begins as reading beings. And the shapes of letters are the first thing children learn. The Moveable Alphabet is made up of easily manipulated plastic or wooden letters that are used for the early stages of phonetic word creation, the analysis of words, and spelling. They facilitate early reading and writing tasks during the period when young children are still not comfortable with their own writing skills. Even before the children are comfortable in their handwriting skills, they spell words, compose sentences and stories, and work on punctuation and capitalization with the moveable alphabets (Age 4-6).
These words reveal the child's inner needs: "Help me to do it alone."
At first, by tracing letters into sand.
Later, by writing on special tilted, upright blackboards: unlined, wide-lined, and narrow-lined.
Later, by writing on special writing tablets, becoming comfortable with script.
Cursive writing (typically around age 6)
Word processing (normally beginning around age 7)
Calligraphy (whenever the child is interested, often around age 10.)
In your daily routine, don’t forget that the skills your children learn are “practical” skills -- things they see you do everyday. But writing by hand is disappearing. Instead of sending an email, write a note. Write out your grocery list. Do these things where your child can see. Seeing a grownup write by hand will inspire the young child to master the same skill, and pass on a tradition we used to take for granted.
Visit a classroom at Pinewoods Montessori to rediscover your own art art of handwriting!