I must admit, whether as a teacher at school or a parent at home, I disliked teaching handwriting. To me, it was exciting to see the progress in reading or math skills, but penmanship just didn’t interest me. However, since it had to be done, I did gather a few tips that I found to be useful.
- Rather than beginning with a writing instrument, have them draw shapes, lines and letters with their finger in the air, in a box of sand, on a table top and on paper. One fun activity is allowing them to finger paint with chocolate pudding on a large piece of waxed paper.
- Once they have grasped the idea of printing using their finger, start writing on paper with larger writing instruments such as crayons, markers or larger pencils. Practicing with chalk on the sidewalk or driveway is another option as is using a chalkboard or dry erase marker and white board.
- Before teaching the process of writing actual letters, have them learn to draw straight and wavy lines as well as circles and other shapes.
- As they learn to write their letters, concentrate mostly on the correct formation as opposed to proper size and spacing. The more their fine motor skills progress with age and practice, the easier it will be for them to place the letters properly.
- Allow them to trace letters that you have written on paper or those on pre-printed worksheets for awhile before you have them try writing the letters on their own. Supervise their work until you are confident that they are forming the letters correctly.
- From the beginning, teach them to hold their pencil properly. If they get used to holding their pencil incorrectly, it is difficult to correct at a later time.
- Be patient. It will take lots of practice, but keep working at it. Your child’s handwriting is another way for him to express himself and it’s a skill he will use for the rest of his life.
Find other teaching ideas at Thirsty Thursday hosted by FiveJs.