Aksharabhyasam is a Sanskrit word. The word Akshara means ‘letters / alphabets’ and Abhyasam means ‘practice’. Aksharabhyasam means “the study of practical letters”.
Aksharabhyasam is a traditional religious ceremony in which the child is given initiation of Education. It involves worship of Goddess Saraswati.
Aksharabhyasam includes pre-writing skill which is initiated when the child is as young as 2 years old. It is not about mastering the art of writing but developing skills to help train small muscles in the child’s hands and fingers so they can complete the motions necessary to eventually form letters.
Pre-writing skills are the fundamental skills children require to develop before they are able to write. These skills contribute to the child’s ability to hold and use a pencil, and the ability to draw, write, copy, and colour.
Building blocks for pre writing skills:
- Hand and finger strength: An ability to exert force against resistance using the hands and fingers that allows the necessary muscle power for controlled movement of the pencil.
- Crossing the mid-line: The ability to cross the imaginary line running from a person’s nose to pelvis that divides the body into left and right sides.
- Pencil grasp: The efficiency of how the pencil is held, allowing age appropriate pencil movement generation.
- Hand eye coordination: The ability to process information received from the eyes to control, guide and direct the hands in the performance of a task such as handwriting.
- Bilateral integration: Using two hands together with one hand leading (e.g. holding and moving the pencil with the dominant hand while the other hand helps by holding the writing paper).
- Upper body strength: The strength and stability provided by the shoulder to allow controlled hand movement for good pencil control.
- Object manipulation: The ability to skilfully manipulate tools (including holding and moving pencils and scissors) and controlled use of everyday tools (such as a toothbrush, hairbrush, cutlery).
- Visual perception: The brain’s ability to interpret and make sense of visual images seen by the eyes, such as letters and numbers.
- Hand dominance: The consistent use of one (usually the same) hand for task performance, which allows refined skills to develop.
- Hand division: Using just the thumb, index and middle finger for manipulation, leaving the fourth and little finger tucked into the palm stabilizing the other fingers but not participating.
Activities for building Pre writing skills
“The learning curve turns stumbling blocks into stepping stone in your child’s development”
Playing with blocks helps children develop their vocabularies, improves math skills and teaches them about geometry and even balance and gravity. They learn how to describe colours, shapes, sizes and positions while building various structures.
“Take time, slowly lace the beads you little one. You will be an expert in lacing memories later.”
Lacing has loads of therapeutic advantages. It is a classic fine motor activity and also strengthens dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and the pincer grasp for preschoolers.
Tear and Paste
“Tearing paper is a fun thing for little ones because it is usually off limits.”
Tearing paper requires strength and endurance of the small muscles in the hand important for fine motor skills, including handwriting and coloring, managing buttons and zippers, manipulating pegs, and more.
Salt tray/sand tray
“Trace your own destiny”
Salt/Sand tracing is an excellent tool that lets the child have fun and learn.