Let Them Be 5

[Image description: A screenshot of a tweet imposed over a red background. The tweet is by Brad Weinstein, @WeinsteinEdu, and reads, “We shouldn’t start preparing kids for college when they are 5. We should be helping them learn to be a good friend, play with others, and love learning.” The image itself was made by TeacherGoals. End description.]

There is no need to borrow worry from the future. And that’s exactly what this kind of thinking is: it’s borrowing worry.

5 year olds are not just future adults. They are also present 5 year olds. And they need time to be 5.

I tend to talk in generalities when it comes to the “parenting/coaching” side of what I do, more so than the “occupational therapy” side of what I do. But this is a blend of the two, so let me shout this from the rooftops:


Yes, preschools push writing and tracing even as young as 3 (or sometimes even younger 😳)
Yes, you maybe learned to write when you were 5. (I promise you it was a different world then.)
Yes, kindergarten/reception/year 1 expects them to write when they’re 5.
That doesn’t mean all five year olds are ready to write. It DOESN’T. It’s simply not true.

If you have a 5yo who is extremely resistant to writing, and you can do anything — anything — to opt them out of it, whether that means writing stuff for them or letting them just draw or speaking to their school about it or giving up and calmly nodding along while the teacher tells you they’re behind etc etc etc and you just let it go in one ear and out the other…

If you can buy them time until they are 6 or 7 and express interest in it, if you can buy them even a few extra months, it will make a world of difference. I work with them every day, please believe what I am telling you! If you can wait until a child is interested in writing before you “make” them write…it turns out you won’t have to “make” them at all!