DY's General Tips Regarding Teaching Handwriting

Plan to do handwriting on a daily basis or at least 3 times a week until your child has mastered cursive. This will take years. Do it correctly from the beginning by making certain that your child follows the arrows (or writes in the correct direction) when forming the letters. Be certain that you supervise your child because it is very difficult to un-teach something that your child has taught himself to do the wrong way. Some children can't decide which hand to write with. Please do not fret over that, let him decide which hand he will write with that day. Someday he will settle on his preferred hand.

  • When all of the short lower case letters are of the same height. 
  • When all of the upper case letters and tall letters are the appropriate height.
  • When his words are evenly spaced.
  • When the letters in the words that he writes are spaced properly.
  • When the letters have a similar slant.
  • When all of the letters are "seated" on the line.

The guidelines in the list above can be tackled one at a time.

Don't feel that a worksheet must be completed in one sitting. Go gentle with the criticism; remember, there's a lot of time for your child to practice and become better at handwriting. I recommend short classes. Five to fifteen minutes should be the maximum (depends on child's age and capabilities).

Here are some early writing activities for children to do:

  • Air writing (write large imaginary letters in the air)
  • Sand writing (writing letters in the sand or loose dirt)
  • Leaf writing (shuffle feet in fallen leaves to make large letters)
  • Sticks and strings writing (provide sticks [or toothpicks, pencils] and strings, use items to form letters
  • Write on a wipe off board or a chalk board
  • Tracing large letters that you've written on paper
  • Pre-Writing sheets.

Here are a few hand-eye activities to improve his/her motor skills:

  • Playing with Legos or other kinds of blocks
  • Lacing boards or stringing beads
  • Tying bows or tying shoes
  • Using scissors
  • Finger painting
  • Playing with Play-Dough
  • Working puzzles


Donna Young

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Handwriting Readiness 2

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