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Writing on lined paper / handwriting paper?

(15 Posts)
Ginmummy1 Wed 02-Mar-16 08:58:00

When is it helpful for children to use lined paper for writing, or even the special workbooks with coloured lines to show how low/high to make letters that go above or below (eg f and g)? My daughter is in Reception and her writing is coming along reasonably well on the whole (she is happy to have a go, can write simple sentences and use finger spaces, capital letters and full stops) but it is not very neat. For example, she writes ‘t’ very small (starting at the same height as ‘a’), the tail of the ‘g’ does not hang down, she writes not very straight lines too close together – that sort of thing.

I’m inclined to think that writing on lines or on the special paper with three lines would help her at this stage, but I’m not sure whether this is not normally introduced this early, and I wondered why? She never brings back any homework focussing on correct letter formation or repeated practice of letters or anything like that – the little bits of homework she gets are things like labelling pictures or answering simple questions or filling in gaps in sentences.

I feel a bit of ‘formal’ writing practice would help her, but maybe this approach of just getting them writing enthusiastically is how it is taught nowadays? I struggle to correct her too much as she is not getting ‘evidence’ to back up what I’m saying, and I think she just thinks I’m fussy and annoying!

What do your Reception/Y1 children do at school to encourage neat writing? Am I worrying about nothing at this stage?

irvine101 Wed 02-Mar-16 10:47:32

My ds likes writing on lined paper from the start, simply because he was used to it. And looks a lot neater compared to the ones written on unlined paper, since he can use line for guide for size. And if he gets unlined paper for some home work, he draw lines himself.
For hand writing practice, Ds's school give it to the children who wants it.(They can pick them up themselves.) They always had stacks of it in the class room.

Mynd Wed 02-Mar-16 10:57:37

DD(4) likes lined paper for writing. Always has done. She has a stack of exercise books at home to write in, though she's also happy to draw in them too. She has the neatest writing in her class by a long way - think the lines do help.

noramum Wed 02-Mar-16 10:59:25

We have this kind of paper at home for practice and DD does her homework on it.

It makes a huge difference to the writing in her unlined school book or even with just the one line.

There are several templates available on the net, we just print them on A4 paper.

Ginmummy1 Wed 02-Mar-16 12:13:42

Thanks, guys. We will start using lined paper or drawing lines.

Noramum, can you give me a clue of what to search for please? I'd be happy to print some out, but I couldn't find anything suitable the other week when I looked, and the books seem to come in class-size packs which is a bit much!

MadameChauchat Wed 02-Mar-16 12:16:48

I may be wrong but I think at this stage teachers just want to encourage writing as much as possible, and not make a fuss about spelling or how neat it looks, because it might put some children off. However, when my son was in reception I did buy some handwriting paper and practised with him. It resulted in beautiful handwriting and all the positive comments he got from the teacher made him feel really proud!

irvine101 Wed 02-Mar-16 12:22:30

irvine101 Wed 02-Mar-16 12:27:33

irvine101 Wed 02-Mar-16 12:34:21

DesertOrDessert Wed 02-Mar-16 13:01:12

We got DS1 these but don't think his reception brother could write small enough for them right now.

noramum Wed 02-Mar-16 16:01:22

I would use the one Irvine101 posted.

The problem with just focusing on writing but not on neatness backfired thoroughly in our house. DD is now in Y4 and finally managed to get a decent pencil grip and writes eligible. Last year her teacher called her handwriting "atrocious".

Only practicing a couple of times a week with a fountain pen and proper lines made a difference.

If the school would only allow her to ditch the pencil but it is a catch twenty-two. No pen until she has a pen licence and with the pencil she will never get one.

Ferguson Wed 02-Mar-16 18:42:42

In Reception, 'having a go' at writing is probably as much as many children can manage, so letter formation, layout etc come a bit later. Provided a child is happy to try to work to a higher standard, then they can have lined paper, or a template of lines UNDER a sheet of plain paper. But beware they don't get discouraged, aiming for accuracy that their fine motor skills are not yet capable of.

mrz Wed 02-Mar-16 18:59:14

We use lined paper and teach correct letter formation from the beginning of reception. It's much easier to learn the correct way from the onset than to develop poor habits and have to change later. There's nothing more discouraging than to unlearn.

Use a highlighter pen to draw a line along the bottom line on lined paper, small letters should fit in the lighlighted space and capitals and tall letters should touch both lines.

wigglesrock Wed 02-Mar-16 20:03:27

My youngest is in reception, well it's P1 here (she's just turned 5). Her school uses lined paper to help form their letters - they have a wee book that you practise each letter in, with a picture of the sound the letter makes. The letter writing practise is done between lines. I know when she's writing or labelling something I draw a line for her if she wants. As part of her homework this week she had to draw a spaceship and label bits of it, I drew the lines for her to help her see her "tall" letters.

Ginmummy1 Thu 03-Mar-16 08:57:32

Thanks everyone! I'll definitely print some of those out and give them a try. I also like the idea of lined paper underneath plain paper.

I'll also ask the teacher at parents' evening whether we should be doing a bit more, and, if so, what. I have a feeling (which could be unfair) that the teacher has assessed her as 'good at reading, comprehension, spelling, but a bit scruffy with the writing and drawing'. I'm keen to help her to improve!

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