My five year old writes Chinese. We’ve started her on 康軒國語課本（一） Kang Xuan First Grade Material this year and their writing worksheets are okay for a five year old but for my three year old who sooooooo eagerly wants to be like her sister but doesn’t have the fine motor skills yet, I created my own worksheets (below). Three year olds need BIG BIG BIG BIG words and use TRACING!!!! I cannot emphasize enough how much they need tracing! There’s nothing worse than a punch in their little egos because they can’t write pretty like their older sibling. These big big big words gave her some confidence in writing and she loves doing these worksheets.
Do I test her? NO! I believe at 3 years old, she just needs to get used to stroke order. However, she does retain and remember how to write maybe 50% of everything she’s written. I believe with practice, she’ll remember them later when I really would require them to do some composition.
Now to my 5 year old. I just the worksheets right out of the textbooks which works fine. Here’s a comparison of sizes and the number of words they give you for tracing to the number of words you write on your own. My 5 year old hates tracing so she just writes them and skips the trace. There are multiple areas where they ask you to write these words in their workbooks so by the time you’re done with all the exercises, she remembers about 95% of the new words in the lesson. Left one is from textbook for my 5 year old. Right one is what I’ve been using for my 3 year old. I will post the ones on the right on our Facebook Group.
To finish, there’s no way of getting around knowing how to write. It’s practice, practice, practice. No, you can’t magically look at a word and ask them to easily remember how to write something instantaneously. They just have to practice.
We started stroke orders with zhuyin and that helped IMMENSELY with transferring to writing actual words. My little one would always tell me that these words are just a lot of combinations of zhuyin and I’ll just nod my head … (yes dear, that’s why we learned zhuyin)…..