I used to write the number ‘2’ in mirror image and was SLAPPED by my P1 teacher then. She said something like I was stupid that had repeated the same mistake despite being told and shown the correct ones.
I was made to stand outside the class when I handed in a correction page with her big ‘2’ and many boxes of my reversed ‘2’.
Those incidents were so humiliating that I could remember until now.
It was just the way my brain ‘saw’ the number then that no matter how much slapping or scolding would not change the way my brain ‘saw’ the number (somehow, my mirror just applied to ‘2’ and not the ‘b’ and ‘d’. Maybe it did happen to the ‘b’ and ‘d’ but my English teacher then didn’t correct me). It self corrected itself a few months into P1.
The crux of above is if a child is not ready (nothing to do with stupid as I am definitely not a stupid person…), whether cognitively (brain development) or physically (writing requires fine motor skills of fingers/hands and if these are not full developed yet, then getting a child to write actually maybe detrimental to his development), be patient and wait for him to mature further. Generally, kids pick up much faster in their kindergarten years after their foundation years in nursery when their brains/fine motor skills are better wired / stable / better developed (in nursery years, best to build interests instead of overload and kill interests, and these interests may explode in exponential ways during their kindergarten years).
I taught phonics to many kids before. For those who are not ready means they are not ready (still can drill and drill but maybe have to spend 10 times effort as compared to one who is ready. I don’t believe in drilling kids UNLESS the kids belong to really ‘slow’ type then drilling may have to be the way to go). But not ready kids do not equate they are slower, it’s just that their cognitive processing skills are not matured yet. Once they are ready (readiness can be maybe another 3, 6, 9 months later), teaching will not be ‘vomit blood’ type and becomes a breeze…
Given a class of about 10 kids for phonics lessons (4 years old), generally there will be 2 who are fully ready (one lesson and probably with one repetition can grasp and remember), 3 who are average (need about 2 repetitions), and 5 who are still having wandering minds (need many repetitions and can’t remember old sounds taught when more new sounds were introduced. Actually I prefer not to teach the last group of kids yet (not efficient or pleasant for both kids and teachers) but a class is a class and have to teach them altogether.). Generally, I will know who can read simple books by the end of the year and who will require repeated lessons in their K1 after about 3 months with them. Overall, unless a child has learning difficulties, all kids undergo good phonics lessons CAN read relatively well by the end of K2s. (PS: good phonic lessons will incorporate sight words).