This is not a post about the developing world, where getting a full meal supersedes writing a full sentence. It is about allowing errors to go ignored because a child “tried their best, and we don’t want them to get discouraged”. Handwriting is not intuitive. Walking appears to be a skill that we are programmed…… Continue reading What Happens When Adults Don’t Teach Handwriting
Lined paper. Pencil grips. Easels. Tutoring. All of these solutions can help a child who has illegible handwriting. There are more handwriting devices and strategies than pencils in my desk drawer. But three contributors to poorly legible writing are often easily forgotten: Room temperature. Children that are chilly or too toasty will be fidgety.…… Continue reading 3 Hidden Causes of Handwriting Errors
One of the common questions children will ask me when I am working with them on handwriting is “Why is your “6” different from my book’s “6”? , or why is your ” M” different from my book’s “M” ? This is an EXCELLENT question. Here is the answer: because a computer made those numbers…… Continue reading How To Write Numbers And Letters To Avoid Confusing Young Children
I know that this is a bold statement. Handwriting is a complex skill, with visual-motor coordination, perceptual, cognitive and postural components. But when I evaluate a child’s writing, and I watch them having to think about where to start and sequence movements to form a letter and place it on a line, and then decide…… Continue reading Is Automaticity The Key To Handwriting Success?
Why should learning to write mean a pile of boring worksheets? It shouldn’t! This week, try teaching your preschooler to draw fun shapes that mirror correct letter formation, start/sequence and connections, and watch their handwriting skills take off! Why draw? Because some kids need more practice, avoid writing due to fear of failure, or…… Continue reading Have More Fun When You Use Drawing To Develop Pre-Writing Skills
Gifted children are often identified by their asynchronous development. The three year-old that can read the names on cereal boxes, the two year-old that can play a song on the piano after hearing it once at music class, the four year-old that can complete his sister’s math homework…from second grade! These children have one or…… Continue reading Why Gifted Preschoolers Should Be Taught Handwriting Early (And With The Best Strategies!)
Most workbooks feature dot-to-dot practice for writing letters. They shouldn’t. Why? The answer is obvious if you know how to teach handwriting. The biggest problem is that so few people understand how children learn to write, and what gets in their way. There are 3 stages of learning: imitating an adult, copying printed materials, and…… Continue reading Why Dot-To-Dot Letter Practice Slows Down Writing Speed and Legibility
Are letter reversals in preschool normal? Yes. Can you avoid them, and thus speed up the accuracy and automaticity that are hallmarks of successful handwriting? Sure! This post will explain why reversals are slowing kids down unnecessarily and how to limit letter and number reversals right from the start. Writing letters backward is very common…… Continue reading Avoiding Letter Reversals In Preschool
Kindergarteners need to learn to space their words correctly. But how exactly do you do that? Most teachers are using the “put your index finger next to your last word as a spacer” strategy. This isn’t a terrible idea, but many children can grasp the true spacing measure. Here is why you should attempt to…… Continue reading How Do You Teach Word Spacing?
Does it matter how a child erases their mistake? You are probably thinking that I ran out of topics for my blog this week. Not exactly. I was thinking about what makes my handwriting posts different than other bloggers that publish posts on early writing skills. I like to look at all the details when…… Continue reading Teach Your Kindergartener How To Erase Like a Big Kid
I have read two reviews of Anne Trubek’s book The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting, one of them in the New York Times The Story of How Handwriting Evolved, and May Soon Die Off. I have not read her book yet, but since I work with young children, I spend plenty of time with “boots…… Continue reading Does Handwriting Have An Uncertain Future in School?
I had this conversation with a very sharp grandma this week. She was curious about why I did not teach her granddaughter to write an “M” this way, since it is so much easier than the standard formation. Here is my answer: Teaching it incorrectly? No! None of the common handwriting styles (Zaner-Bloser, D’Nealian,…… Continue reading Why Writing An “M” Like a Mountain Slows Handwriting Progress
Nothing ruins the fun of scribbling like the frustration of discovering that clothes, skin and walls are also covered with “creativity”. It is important to teach children that we color only on specific surfaces, but messes will happen on the path to full comprehension and compliance. Crayola has just about solved this problem…… Continue reading Color Wonder Paper Will Boost Creativity and Save Your Walls
Teaching left-handed children to write in a right-handed world (estimates for right dominance varies, but always hovers over 80%) isn’t really all that different. However, there are two specific actions that parents and teachers need to make while teaching that rarely make it to the blogs and articles on the web. Read on. I will…… Continue reading The Two Important Handwriting Teaching Strategies For Lefties That Everyone Forgets
It seems so simple: if a child can write all of her uppercase and lowercase letters independently, she should be able to use paper with only a baseline as an anchor. I see too many kids in kindergarten and first grade go from proud writers to discouraged writers when the “training wheels” of extra…… Continue reading Why The Switch to Single-Line Paper Creates Handwriting Problems
Handwriting still matters, and it matters just as much to kids on the spectrum. Teaching handwriting to kids that have difficulty focusing and that learn better with individualized instruction can be a challenge for any teacher, including special education teachers in a self-contained classroom. For teachers in an integrated classroom, it can be an overwhelming…… Continue reading Teaching Handwriting To Kids with ASD