This handwriting was given to me by one of my old headmasters years ago and I couldn't find it on the internet so wanted to share it. It shows a 5 year old child's handwriting from 1909. The child was educated by italian educator, Maria Montessori, whose focus was on not being taught writing, but discovering writing.

a 5 year old writes

The wording reads:

"We would like to wish a joyous Easter to the civil engineer Edoardo Talamo and the Princess Maria. We will ask them to bring their pretty children here. Leave it to me. I will write for all. April 17, 1909."

After doing some research, I found out that to get children writing at an early age, they are not taught writing. Instead they are exposed to certain conditions and experiences that enable them to develop the fine motor skills that they lead to the discovery of writing.

One approach used to lead to the discovery of writing includes the following steps:

  1. Play with big balls from crawling stage.
  2. Stack plastic cups from 9 to 18 months.
  3. Use pegboards from 12 to 18 months.
  4. Simple puzzles with big knobs from 18 to 24 months.
  5. Thread large beads at 18-24 months.
  6. More complex hand puzzles from 2 years.
  7. Pour rice from one jug to another, then switch to water.
  8. Early scribbling.
  9. Tons of water play.
  10. Hand sponge and finger painting.
  11. Switch to small balls.
  12. Small blackboard.
  13. Strng macaroni beads between 2 and 3.
  14. Fold paper napkins from 30 months.
  15. Big jigsaws from 3rd birthday.
  16. Draw inside big writing templates from age 3.
  17. Move to smaller writing templates.
  18. Finger-trace over stippled letters.
  19. Polish shoes between 3 and 5.
  20. Copy own name by fourth birthday.
  21. You write their first story, and child traces over it.
  22. Help them write shopping lists.
  23. Play writing games on home computer.
  24. They "explode" into writing before age 5.
Date Tags writing

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Gary Hall Gary Hall is based in East Yorkshire, England, and has a background in education, marketing and technology. This site is a collection of ideas and resources on these topics.