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How to improve handwriting

(15 Posts)
DottyBlue2 Sat 10-Feb-18 09:26:05

I have a Year 6 boy and his handwriting has deteriorated over the past two years. I can't read it although his teachers says they can.

I want to spend the next few months improving his handwriting as he will have to start writing essays and posters at secondary school. It's got to the stage where if he writes a birthday card, t's gobbledy gook.

There are no SEN issues.

Are there any good books that anyone can recommend? I'm tempted to go right back to KS1 handwriting books and sit him down for 15 minutes a day to get him to draw the basic outlines.

Because he says his teachers can read his handwriting, he says he doesn't have to do anything as his handwriting is fine. I disagree. AIBU (even though I've put this in Education? grin)?

ikeameatballsarerank Sat 10-Feb-18 10:34:18

Pick your battles. You will be experiencing many of them as he goes to secondary- handwriting is not a worthy one!

He'll be typing lots of things anyway.

Norestformrz Sat 10-Feb-18 12:13:02

Get some paper with handwriting lines. Encourage him to slow down and if you can persuade him to spend ten minutes a day you should see improvement.
In school we do a happy handwriting week ...copy out a verse at the beginning of the week and after daily practice copy out the same verse to compare ...we offer a small prize for improvement as an incentive.
Failing that the Speed Up programme (available from Amazon)

DottyBlue2 Sat 10-Feb-18 12:31:25

Thanks for your responses. Many thanks norestformrz

I'm raising the handwriting issue as an attempt to make the teachers' lives a bit easier (but also because his handwriting really IS awful). From the experience of my elder child, secondary school teachers are a little less indulgent about this sort of thing. Don't mean that as a criticism, but a History teacher, for example, will have a lot of reading to do as part of their marking.

Norestformrz Sat 10-Feb-18 12:39:34

My experience is the opposite. Nearly all our beautiful writers handwriting lapsed in secondary where different teachers have very different expectations regarding presentation.

DelphiniumBlue Sat 10-Feb-18 12:44:00

The thing that makes the most difference to the legibility of handwriting is long enough ascenders and descenders - so that letters like b,d,p and l stand out. If he can improve that, it would help tremendously.

roses2 Wed 14-Feb-18 08:05:51

This book called Write From The Start came highly recommended on another thread:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

If you photocopy the pages then they can be re-used.

irvineoneohone Wed 14-Feb-18 08:34:05

I don't think you don't even need 10 minutes a day.
We have been practicing writing with my ds everyday, using recommendation by mrz, ans doing 3 minutes a day. The difference even after a month was quite clear.

Julraj Wed 14-Feb-18 10:32:04

Hey OP! Ex-teacher here...

There are no 'good' handwriting books I'm afraid, only ones that remind children how to draw their letters and connect them. Beyond that you're better off buying a little green (or big blue) handwriting lined book, creating some writing prompts and incentivising them with bribes.

E.g. 15 minutes tonight, write a gruesome recipe for cookies. List the ingredients (however revolting) and write the full method in chronological order. Remind him he'll need to bake them (in what? on what? will he need to use oven gloves? etc).

I know it's time and effort on your part but this approach tends to work best with boys.

uberdadof5 Wed 14-Feb-18 11:19:30

Could also be worth checking he's not sat in a funny way. This document shows some helpful tips

DottyBlue2 Wed 14-Feb-18 18:23:58

Thank you! Bribery is the way forward. And yes, he's sat in a funny way and he holds his pen badly - this is all a hangover from Reception.

BlondeB83 Sat 17-Feb-18 08:19:32

Write from the Start is good! I’m surprised his teachers aren’t more concerned if it’s that bad to be honset!

BlondeB83 Sat 17-Feb-18 08:19:40


haba Sat 17-Feb-18 08:27:11

We used write from the start when my son was younger. He's Y4 now, and his writing is appalling again, so I'm about to instigate five minutes a day practice, to try and improve.
The problem is that mine just couldn't care less how his writing is!
It's really not in the least a priority for him.

DottyBlue2 Sat 17-Feb-18 09:27:22

Yes, likewise haba - he says his handwriting is fine and he doesn't need to improve it. I'll talk to hisclass teacher next week. It was so neat in year 3 sad

@Julraj his handwriting is too loopy, i.e. his Ls look like ovals and his g almost looks like a number 8. He's also started to slant his writing so that it is tall and narrow rather than short and rounded.

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