This Web Page is updated on 2012-08-07 15:40
Chinese Version | 中文版
Issue 345 (June-July 2012)
Excel in Practice

Children Enjoy Handwriting

Words are supposed to be interesting. Why has it become a source of pain to children? Reports show that more than 2% of Hong Kong parents subject their children to dictation and recitation. As a result of the harsh requirement of some parents, some children suffer anxiety disorders such as hitting and scolding themselves after they enter primary school. Parents in general only focus on the quantity of their children’s reading and writing but neglect the important elements that build a firm foundation for literacy. Hence, a lot of effort is spent with little result.

The critical period for early childhood language learning is between ages two to five. In order for a child to identify or write words and develop literacy skills smoothly, they must possess the ideal components of visual perception. The areas of visual perception related to reading and writing are many, including visual-motor coordination, form perception, figure-ground perception, position in space, visual closure, spatial relationship, visual memory and perceptual constancy. Children wholack these relevant skills tend to get similar words mixed up, have slow reading speed, find it hard to identify specified words from a bunch of text. They copy words untidily. They tend to skip or add more pen strokes, copy the wrong word or let the strokes go out of boundaries.

Since 2008, our Child Development and Education Core Business has been actively gathering and analysing various pieces of literature and relevant teaching material on early childhood literacy. We have assembled expertise and experience from early childhood teachers, early childhood educators, occupational therapists, speech therapists and physical therapists to compile a book titled ‘Children Enjoy Handwriting – Theory and Practice in the Development of Early Literacy’. We have also compiled eight series of 14 ‘Children Enjoy Handwriting’ workbooks. We hope to help parents and early childhood educators acquire both theory and practice so that they can have an overall approach on how to foster the development of early childhood

Children Enjoy Handwriting Helps the Development of Early Childhood Literacy

The ‘Children Enjoy Handwriting’ series aims to develop the eight components of visual perception in children. It is designed with a rich language environment so that children can develop their reading and writing skills naturally in a real, natural, complete, interesting and meaningful context (Huang Rui-jun , 1997). The content is drawn from the children’s living environment, teamed with interesting activities such as: stories, rhymes, riddles, crafts, mini experiments and games. Attached to the back of the workbooks are “Recommended Complementary Activities”. This section encourages parents to accompany their children as they do the exercises. This can broaden the children’s life experiences, consolidate the knowledge and skills they have acquired, as well as improve the parent-child relationship.

A good tool can help parents and teachers gain comprehensive mastery of early childhood literacy development theories and strategies. We, therefore, have also published ‘Children Enjoy Handwriting – Preliteracy Theory and Practice’. This book introduces cultivation strategies and counselling methods that can develop early childhood literacy in a comprehensive way from the theoretical level. This allows parents and early childhood educators to better understand the development of children’s literacy skills, so that they can give each child the appropriate assistance and training and guide children to have fun learning how to read and write. Those who are interested in this teaching kit are welcome to call Miss Tsang at 2731-6222 for further inquiry.

Note: Huang Rui-jun. Children’s Language Experience. Taipei: Wu-Nan Culture Enterprise, 1997

About the Writer

About the Writer: Ms. Leung Lai Fen is the coordinator for our Early Childhood Education Service. She has 30 years of experience in early childhood education, and is involved with numerous projects on early childhood curriculum development and assessment. She has also participated in the publication of over 12 books related to early childhood education.

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