With computers and iPads becoming so common now in schools, handwriting skills are often seen as an irrelevant. Good handwriting skills can help increase students attention, comprehension, and spelling which greatly improves their reading fluency.
It is important to identify where your child is struggling concerning handwriting. Letter formation makes a huge difference in their writing speed and efficiency.
Are they writing their letters way too big or so small that they cannot be seen?
Is there an appropriate amount of space between each word or are they all bunched together? Are they applying to much or too little pressure? Others may struggle to stabilize the paper when writing. Are their hands to weak to grasp the pencil correctly? Once you identify where your child is struggling, you can move forward in helping them improve their handwriting.
When a child is struggling with handwriting, try turning it into a fun activity to peak their interest. This will build their confidence with an activity that is exciting while practicing this crucial skill. Allow them to write on the walls in the bathtub with paint or shaving cream. Go outside and draw letters in the mud or with chalk on the sidewalk. Switch it up by offering thick pencils, rock crayons, or broken crayons. Avoid giving only words to copy, but rather give the words they are writing a purpose. Let them help with the grocery list, write down the names of the winners of a board game, or help you create a to-do list. The possibilities are endless!
Improving handwriting can go beyond just writing letters. Encourage drawing, puzzles, and animal walks. In order to gain the physical requirements for handwriting – coordination, posture control, dexterity, and the way they hold the pencil – upper extremity weight bearing activities help strengthen the hands, arms, neck, and core.
Most importantly incorporate your child's interests and passions into the activities you provide, and they will be much more willing to focus on their writing.