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Five Steps to Better Handwriting

Try a Pencil Grip

❶If you have done all these and you are still concerned, request a handwriting assessment from the Special Needs Coordinator SENCo in the school and take advice from him or her. The cursive handwriting books helped all of my own children to develop flowing handwriting, which was neater than their printed handwriting.

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Help children master handwriting strokes by using action words, phrases, and consistency! Visual Perception and Handwriting! Auditory Tricks for Handwriting Help children master handwriting strokes by using action words, phrases, and consistency! Welcome to Handwriting Help for Kids! I am an occupational therapist, having graduated from Tuft University. My motto is this: Today's Foundation is Tomorrow's Success! But first, let's take a moment to think about just how complicated writing really is.

It's not like sneezing or breathing, which your body does for you without you even thinking about it. With handwriting, your body and mind need to do many different things all together and in the right order. Your shoulder needs to stay steady while your wrist and elbow move in just the right way.

Did we mention your eyes have to follow what your hand is doing? And that's not all. You need the brainpower to know how words and letters are supposed to look and make decisions about what you want to write — Is the answer to Question 4 "flipper" or "flapper"?

So with all that going on, you can imagine that different kids have different problems when it comes to handwriting. Sometimes a medical problem is a reason that kids struggle with writing. They might write too fast or start answering a question and forget to finish it.

Kids who have trouble with their muscles, like those with Down syndrome or cerebral palsy, also could have difficulty writing.

But lots of other kids have writing woes, too. Are you one of them? Or maybe you would just like to make your already-OK handwriting a little bit better. But when you hold your pencil the correct way, writing is much easier. The best way to hold a pen or pencil is to let it rest next to the base of your thumb. Hold it in place with your thumb, and your index and middle fingers.

See the photo below. Those lines can help you create letters that are the right size and proportion. Proportion means that one thing is the right size compared with the other. My own kids benefitted from the Getty-Dubay handwriting books, which are italic. The cursive handwriting books helped all of my own children to develop flowing handwriting, which was neater than their printed handwriting. If your child tires easily or becomes distracted, then let them have a quick break instead of plowing through and risking deteriorating handwriting.

A good use of a break time would be to do some gross motor exercises especially shoulder exercises , fine motor exercises, or getting some water to drink.

You could also try Fitness Circuit this is an affiliate link to a product I have used - these fun brain breaks, designed by a fellow therapist, could help spark your child!

On tasks where creative input is being rated, your child may be able to write more freely and easily if freed from the effort of writing neatly. A neat final draft may be required, but being allowed to type or scrawl at first may get the creative juices flowing. Accept that legible can be good enough for these times! It is tiring to write neatly, but if it is not required at every lesson and on every occasion, then it is easier to write neatly when it really does matter.

You can also consider being a scribe for your child if you are homeschooling, or consider asking for a facilitator in the school system. When your child is brainstorming a topic, or planning answers and structure for a project, it can really help to have someone else jot down those thoughts and answers as they flow out.

Once the scribe has the rough draft on paper, your child can then refine it and write it out neatly, without being tired from the initial handwriting effort. Learning keyboarding skills has helped many children who struggle with poor handwriting - see what your child's school will allow in terms of typed essays and assignments.

When an older child is referred for handwriting issues, my first recommendation is that we first think about WHY the handwriting is so lousy. If your child always rushes, then motivation may be more of an issue than fine motor delays. If your child is always rushing writing tasks, what is the reason behind it? Answering these questions honestly could help you unlock some keys to help your older child improve handwriting skills. If this page was helpful, please share it with your friends!


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Some tips to help older kids improve handwriting skills. Handwriting difficulties are reported more frequently among boys than girls but most improve, given the right help. How important is pen grip? Many children with difficulties hold their pen or pencil in unconventional ways.

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Even using silverware can help him develop his fine-motor skills. Pinpoint the Problem Common handwriting problems lie in four main areas: letter formation, sizing, spaces between words, and line-alignment. A multisensory program to help kids master handwriting. Also a wealth of information, advice, free worksheets for parents, teachers, and occupational therapists.