Q:

My daughter will be entering kindergarten this fall and still can't write her name. She attended preschool for two years where the teachers always printed everyone's name. Unfortunately, her first name, Charlotte, is hard to spell. I have tried and tried with no success to help her. Is there an easy way for young children to learn to write their names? -- Nameless on Paper

A:

We want to point out that not every child entering kindergarten can write his or her name. For a good picture of the writing skills of young children from 18 months up to third grade, go online to www.pbs.org/parents/readinglanguage/writing/main.html to see examples of a child's writing.

Your daughter can be taught how to write her name. It will take time. Is your daughter able to write any of the letters in her name? Or is the problem that she can't place them in the right order? In either case, we have a good way to help children master this task. Follow the steps below, and don't move to the next step until the previous one has been mastered:

Begin by teaching your child how to print each letter in her name. You can start with the easier stick letters like "l" and "t." Then work on "h." All the rest of the letters except for "r" are related to a circle. Keep in mind that you can teach the letters in any order that you want. Do be sure that your child learns the name of each letter.

1. Teach her to print only the first letter as a capital letter.

2. Print your child's name and have her trace over it many times with a pencil, crayon or marking pen.

3. Use dots or dashes to write the letters in her name and have her connect them.

4. Print her name, and have her copy it under the letters you have written saying each letter as she writes it.

5. Write her name leaving blanks for her to fill in.

6. Have her write her name without looking at a model.