Yes, handwriting is still a thing in a world that is dominated by technology. Handwriting is not only important as a form of communication but also crucial for young kids to develop fine motor skills. Teaching handwriting skills starts in early childhood, and although most children learn handwriting at school, the parents’ guidance at home can help. Here is everything you need to know about how to teach handwriting to your child.
Every Child is Unique
Not all children learn the same things at the same age. Some are more inclined to physical activity or spatial exercises. This only shows that every child is unique and that they have different learning capabilities.
Writing is a skill that a child can learn with the right handwriting practice. Therefore, when giving handwriting instruction, the teacher should always keep in mind that all children learn at different rates. Some may learn how to scribble patterns in a few days, while others are more talented and can already write their names on straight lines.
To learn how to write letters correctly, they must get proper handwriting instruction and letter information first. It helps if they already know the letters and the alphabet and can hold a pen or pencil correctly. Different forms of pencil grips can help develop fine motor skills and hold a pen correctly without developing a wrong grip posture.
It is highly recommended that you also teach your students how each letter sounds and not just what they look like. Teaching writing often goes hand in hand with teaching reading. Teaching your child what the letters look like must also be accompanied by teaching them how the letters sound.
Start with associating the letters of the alphabet with anything that starts with that corresponding letter. It is a brilliant idea to associate it with something your child is already familiar with—for example, A for an apple and B for a bag.
Next, your child must already have developed a certain level of hand-eye coordination. You can prepare them by giving them exercises which involve using hands. You can provide them with mazes or puzzles that involve connecting dots.
4 Steps of Handwriting Introduction
- First, start by teaching them how to hold a pencil and offer a proper pencil grip if needed. Once they have gotten comfortable with that, it’s time to start introducing the letters.
- Teach the lowercase letters first. Make a dotted line version of the lowercase letters and have them trace them to practice.
- Once you think they are ready for the next level, have them write the lowercase letters on a different paper sheet. This time, they have no pattern to trace.
- Once your child has mastered writing the lowercase letters, it is now the time to teach them how to write their name. This is also the time to introduce the uppercase letters. Explain to them that names always start with capital letters. In this stage, a good activity is to have them write all the alphabet letters with the same uppercase and lowercase letters paired together.
Praise your child for every stage he/she has completed. Giving them positive reinforcement always aids in learning. Aside from verbal praise, you can also give them treats like candies.
Writing is an essential skill every child needs to learn. With proper guidance and patience, your child will discover a whole new communication method. Learning how to write should be a fun activity. Make sure that you do not push your child too hard. Often, 10 minutes of writing practice is enough for a child before it needs a break.