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How best to help with handwriting?

(5 Posts)
roundtower Tue 23-Apr-13 18:48:25

DD is nearly 7. She is doing well at Maths and reading but is struggling with handwriting. If anything, I would say it has deteriorated in the past couple of months. I have made an appointment to see her teacher but am wondering what others would suggest.

I have an issue with the way they do their writing homework. There are work sheets that go with each reading book they do. Each sheet is the week's work and they do two words and two sentences each night and write them on the sheet.
There seems to be no consistency in the size of the space given to work in. Sometimes the sentence is quite long yet the same space is allowed as to write a 3 word sentence. Because of this dd is struggling with letter size and spacing. Some times the space is very high so dd tends to write larger, and smaller when the space is small. I think writing in a book with consistent size lines is better but thats not the way they do it.

Her natural tendency is towards large writing ( I am the same). I have had her eyes checked and there is no problem.

Also we contributed a set price at start of year to cover all supplies such as pencils etc. They started the year with triangular pencils which seemed to work well. These didn't last long - bit by bit she was bringing home chewed up stumps. Several times I bought her more of these pencils but as soon as they go into school I don't see them again.

I spoke to the teacher about her writing before but the teacher said she was fine. Yesterday doing homework she said the teacher says her writing is bad so I have made an appointment to discuss.

I have tried getting dd to practice at home but she gets very frustrated when I try to help her.

Any tips appreciated.

mrspaddy Tue 23-Apr-13 19:12:32

Hello there.. number one I would say that if all else is good, don't get too worried about handwriting. I would be a lot more worried about comprehension etc. However, seven is a good age to be targeting this. I am trained in Handwriting Without Tears and have all workbooks. There is recommended specific paper to assist with formation of letters/size. There is accompanying music to assist with things like 'Where do you start your letters?' In my school, some teachers a sceptical but I really, really like the programme. It is common practise in the USA.
There is an app on IPAD - about eight pounds or so (if you happen to have one). Wet-Dry-Try

Try the 'OT Plan' website for practical activities - finger twister to help with isolation etc. Another cheap and easy idea for home is to draw the figure 8 across an A3 size sheet whilst sheet is faced in a portrait direction. Then turn horizontally, blue tack to shoulder height of child. Ask them to put their non dominant and on the wall and with their dominant hand trace over the eight with different colour crayons. It helps with control, upper body strength etc.

I don't know exactly what you child is doing in terms of handwriting so it is hard to advise. Mention to the teacher that you would be interested in seeing an OT if difficulties continue. HTH, sorry can't advise in more detail.

mrspaddy Tue 23-Apr-13 19:14:10

Sorry blue tack paper to wall at shoulder height to child.. oops .. long day smile

roundtower Tue 23-Apr-13 19:35:20

Thanks mrspaddy. Her comprehension, vocab etc are all excellent.

Her pencil grip isn't great and even though she has practiced letter formation at school and at home she is still inclined to do it her own way and to add bits and pieces til the letter looks correct.

If it is relevant she is not good at drawing at all. She was 5 before she would even try to colour in and she is still not consistently neat.

She always has had art supplies available at home but would always choose messy painting, sticking etc over picking up a pencil and drawing anything.

Maybe I should encourage that more?

mrspaddy Tue 23-Apr-13 20:21:05

Hello.. I had a whole message wrote and lost it but gist of it was
wikki stix (amazon) are lovely and might be a nice activity for colouring.
She will like them as she is more likely to be successful.
Do stick to a routine each day but for a maximum of 10 mins - 20 mins then her preferred (treat) actitivity.

Try this: Get a little chalkboard and you draw a letter using chalk to fill the board (chalk is good as she can feel resistance and the wooden border helps her feel where the letter should end)
Get a tiny bit of sponge and little pot of water and ask her to 'trace' the letter off. She then draws the letter back on herself with a chalk. This can be repeated. Praise her a lot. Try is with the letters she finds tricky.

Get a small tongs - ask her to pick up little objects and move from one pot to another - this helps with grip.

Sticking little stickers onto pages.

Bursting bubble wrap using finger and thumb.

Do lots of dot to dot book work, anything that encourages pincer grip.. threading (even making little beaded necklaces etc)
Let me know how you get on. Take Care.

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