Good handwriting is an important skill for kids to learn. Children who can write efficiently and legibly will have an easier time communicating and will usually do better with spelling and reading as well. But, handwriting can be a struggle for children to learn. Here are some tips that can help.
1. Identify the handwriting problem
Handwriting struggles can have lots of causes. If you can identify the problem, you can target your practice time to focus on solving it by working smarter, not harder!
3 of the most common handwriting problems are:
- Pencil grip: By age 4-6, children should be holding their pencil with their thumb, index finger, and middle finger. This is called a tripod grip. If your child isn’t holding their pencil correctly, good handwriting will be very difficult.
- Letter formation: This refers to the shape, order, and direction of the pencil lines that make up each letter. It is important that kids are forming the letters correctly so they can write neatly and efficiently.
- Copying and spacing words: Sometimes the challenge is a child’s ability to copy whole words or sentences. Kids may also have challenges remembering to put a space in between words. These problems can sometimes be solved by helping them concentrate better when they are working.
Once you’ve figured out the problem, you can take action to help your child improve their handwriting.
2. Set your child up for success
When you set up your homeschool room, it is important to make sure that your child’s desk and chair are the right sizes for them. This will allow them to work for longer periods of time before their muscles get tired. Fixing this is a simple way to make handwriting easier with no additional effort from your child!
Here are a few things to keep in mind when checking the size of your furniture:
- Choose a desk or table with a top that is about 2 inches taller than your child’s elbows when they are seated at the table.
- Choose a chair that is short enough so your child can rest their feet flat on the floor.
- Your child’s hips, knees, and ankles should be at 90-degree angles when they sit in their chair.
You might also consider using a pencil with a wider body or a triangular shape to encourage your kids to use the correct pencil grasp.
It can be helpful to try not to use a pencil grip if possible. Although they can help kids learn to hold their pencil correctly, many grips actually prevent kids from developing the fine motor muscles they need for good handwriting. In addition, it’s really hard to get kids to stop using a pencil grip once they are used to it!
3. Use the right handwriting resources
It is important to choose a handwriting curriculum that makes learning easy for your kids.
Some curriculum choices are organized to teach the letters in order by how they are formed, instead of in alphabetical order. Little changes like this can help make handwriting less overwhelming for kids.
It is also important to make sure that your curriculum is fun.
Supplementing your handwriting curriculum with fun handwriting practice sheets can help keep kids engaged and excited to practice handwriting. You can create your own sheets by writing words that are related to topics your child is interested in for them to trace and copy.
Bonus: Remember that Kids Develop Differently
When practicing handwriting with your child, it is important to remember that kids develop different skills at different rates. And that is ok.
If you’re feeling like your child is behind, it doesn’t mean that you have failed as their teacher. It actually means that by homeschooling, you have chosen the perfect way to educate them that allows them to learn at their own pace and to catch up, without having to compare themselves to a classroom of peers or get frustrated that they can’t do it.
Instead, take time to help your child see their progress as you use these tips to help them improve.
Let’s Encourage Each Other!
What are YOUR best tips for fostering better handwriting?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Thank you to Sarah at Homeschooling 4 Him for writing this Crew Article.