Learning to write is one of the very first things most children learn how to do at school. However, it certainly isn’t easy and takes lots of practice and persistence. If you notice your child struggling with their handwriting or having difficulty when they first start learning to write, it’s important that it isn’t ignored. Here at Tutor Doctor we know that neat, clear and consistent handwriting doesn’t always come easily to a lot of kids. That’s why we’ve come up with 4 tips to help improve your child’s handwriting skills- and all in the comfort of your own home!
1. Find the problem
The easiest way to start helping your child improve their handwriting skills is by firstly identifying the problem. Look for areas where they are having the most trouble and see if you can find a solution. Here are some common areas that some children struggle with when it comes to handwriting.
If your child is having issues with letter formation, get them to practice using tracing paper until they feel more confident with the techniques involved.
Letter Size/lining words on the page
Lined paper will be an excellent aid if your child is sizing their letters incorrectly or finds it tricky to line words on the page.
Spacing between words
If you’re finding that your child is writing their letters too close together make sure you encourage them to use finger spacing between each word when doing writing practice.
Holding the pen/pencil incorrectly
Are your children having trouble with how they hold their writing tool? If so, make sure you show them how to hold their pen/pencil correctly- with their thumb, index and middle fingers.
Pressing too hard
Does your child press too hard when they are doing their homework? Pressing too hard on the paper can make letter formation tricky- a relaxed grip is much easier for the hand to move and for them to write neatly and accurately.
Whatever the issue, there is always a solution! Remember practice, practice and practice some more!
2. Take it slow!
Children sometimes rush writing meaning they aren’t practicing their techniques properly or taking the time they should be. It’s important to encourage your child to take their time when writing letters and numbers. If you really want to show them how, why not sit down with them and practice writing a letter together?
3. Have the right tools
If you want your child to be able to practice writing it’s vital that they have the right tools to hand! Here are a few items that will help them not only practice but improve their handwriting skills.
Pens and pencils
Pens and pencil are perhaps the most important tool your kids will need to have if they want to practice their handwriting. Remember it’s also good to have a mixture of both. Pencils are easy to rub out so are perfect for practicing, whereas pens are more permanent, so are great for write ups or final practice.
Mini white board
White boards are brilliant as they will let your child repeatedly practice writing letters, number and words.
Lined notebooks and plain paper
Lined notebooks are an excellent tool for your child to practice sentences, copying passages of text or writing freely. It will also help them stay within the lines, give them an idea on how to space correctly as well as encourage writing in a straight line. Plain paper on the other hand is better for practicing letters and writing out words. You could even show your child how it’s done by writing out a word/letter they are particularly struggling with and ask them to try the way you showed them underneath.
Tracing paper and alphabet book
An alphabet book and tracing paper makes it really easy for your child to practice their handwriting skills but also gives them a visual reference on how each letter is constructed.
Whether it’s a white board eraser or a rubber, it’s important that kids feel like they can correct their mistakes!
Finally make handwriting as fun as it can possibly be. Buying bright and colourful rubbers, pencils, notebooks and pens is bound to brighten up an afternoon of writing practice!
4. Be positive and encouraging!
It’s okay if your child struggles with writing certain letters or isn’t grasping neat handwriting straight away. Positive encouragement is not only going to help your child achieve their goals but also make them feel more confident in their abilities. Remember to tell them ‘well done’ when they’ve done a great job or even if they have done a few hours of practice. Let’s face it- learning to write or practicing handwriting skills is by no means an easy task and takes lots of time and patience. Positivity is sure to go a long way!