Handwriting

(22 Posts)
House1999 Tue 02-Mar-21 17:27:19

I wondered if anyone could offer any advice please. My Y6 DD has quite messy handwriting. Some words are difficult to read, with litters different heights. During lockdown she hasn’t had to write very much as most activities have been over seesaw. She lacks stamina and her hand aches. I’ve asked her to start practicing writing but after about 15 minutes she says her hand is aching and not much has been written.

OP’s posts: |
TheDamnFoolThatShotHim Tue 02-Mar-21 17:59:57

A simple trick is to use a highlighter to draw a handwriting line on any normal lined paper.

It helps create a visual guide of where the letters need to sit:
- letters like a c o e etc all sit fully within the highlight.
- letters like t h l etc all go above the highlight
- descenders like g f y etc go below the highlight.

It really helps sizing be more consistent too as even when letters have an ascender/descender the 'main body' of the letter still fills the highlighted space.

MrsRexVandeKamp Tue 02-Mar-21 18:04:05

I love this tip, thank you @TheDamnFoolThatShotHim

House1999 Tue 02-Mar-21 18:39:28

Thank you @TheDamnFoolThatShotHim

OP’s posts: |
TheDamnFoolThatShotHim Tue 02-Mar-21 18:46:14

You're welcome. You can also download/print premade highlighted lines if that is easier.

If you google something like 'highlighted handwriting lines' there should be some free ones that come up.

CakesOfVersailles Tue 02-Mar-21 19:51:06

Is her pen/pencil grip correct? That can make a big difference to pain and stamina.

Elisheva Tue 02-Mar-21 22:40:47

I bought a handwriting program for my year 5 ds, it’s called Magic Link handwriting, and it is quite expensive (about £200 I think), but it has made a huge difference to his handwriting.

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howisyourcat Tue 02-Mar-21 22:43:08

How does it work @Elisheva ? I've looked into it for my DS but can't quite work out what you get.

ChocFondant Tue 02-Mar-21 22:55:39

Would she be happy to take part in silly challenges to build stamina? My nephew used to write nursery rhymes out and we'd time him/ see how many my times he could write it in a set time/ compete against one of the family (but with someone judging legibility). Got him used to physically writing more when he couldn't get his ideas down on the paper in time. Also I love the highlighter idea. Wish we'd known that trick!

Elisheva Tue 02-Mar-21 22:55:51

It takes about 15 minutes a day. There is a demonstration video and then worksheets to practice. They teach all the individual letters and then words and sentences.
They teach the letters in pattern groups. So they start with l, t and i. In one session they would practice writing each letter individually- two lines of each letter, and then some words. It’s about two pages of writing per session.
You have to buy triangular pencils, and they go through posture, pencil grip and positioning the paper.

SkankingMopoke Tue 02-Mar-21 22:58:49

TheDamnFoolThatShotHim

A simple trick is to use a highlighter to draw a handwriting line on any normal lined paper.

It helps create a visual guide of where the letters need to sit:
- letters like a c o e etc all sit fully within the highlight.
- letters like t h l etc all go above the highlight
- descenders like g f y etc go below the highlight.

It really helps sizing be more consistent too as even when letters have an ascender/descender the 'main body' of the letter still fills the highlighted space.


This is a great idea. I will be trying this tomorrow with DC1.

howisyourcat Tue 02-Mar-21 23:44:10

Thanks @Elisheva ! We're going to try it

Pantsomime Tue 02-Mar-21 23:53:26

Check out - speed up, a kinaesthetic programme to develop fluent handwriting- Lois Addy £12. It’s a quick hand & upper arm work out daily to wake up muscles, then 8 weeks of one hour session plus short ones x3 a week with things starting with a blackboard in front of child so they write loop and mmmm type patterns on both sides at the same time ( so they can’t see what they are doing) to develop fluency & rhythm. We are on week 2, from reading, the programme develops into letters but the DCs are loving the exercises & keen at the moment. I get the science. Worth looking at reviews - it’s for 8 years upwards

House1999 Wed 03-Mar-21 05:05:51

Thank you so much for all the fabulous suggestions.

OP’s posts: |
icegarden Thu 04-Mar-21 23:28:13

Get her drawing and colouring lots too

ilovesushi Sun 07-Mar-21 10:18:21

It could be worth seeing an OT (occupational therapist) to find out what is causing the handwriting difficulties. Once you have that info you can really target it in way that doesn't cause stress and feelings of failure in your DD. We were referred to an OT after my DS was assessed for dyslexia and it turned out there were a whole host of issues impacting on his ability to handwrite. He is secondary now and has switched primarily to typing. He has a small chrome book which he uses in class (when not in lockdown!). It means he can focus on producing high quality work rather than trying to form his letters.

CoffeeWithCheese Sun 07-Mar-21 13:10:57

I use the highlighter technique a lot with DD2 to help her - also paper with slightly raised lines is often recommended (but I've never found it cheap enough to really buy into and try with DD2). We were at the point where she was typing most of her work but the utter arse we have for a teacher this year refuses to let her use it, lies to the SENCO that she doesn't ever ask for it and then just gives her shit about her handwriting.

ChaBishkoot Sun 07-Mar-21 13:14:29

If her hands hurt, I wonder if her hand is hypermobile.

Musingsandrevs Sun 07-Mar-21 18:22:04

If they do not have any delays, then some aids can quickly deliver. Else you may need to patiently build the stamina with various activities and tools. Look for visual spatial skills, are they coloring within boundaries. This post may be helpful-

www.musingsandreviews.com/category/blog/fine-motor-skills/

Please use their motivation to work with them.

Loopylou555 Sun 07-Mar-21 22:56:18

My son is in year 5, has always struggled with handwriting and fine motor skills. School suspect dyspraxia but very hard to get a diagnosis around here. He is also hypermobile in wrists and fingers. How is she with fiddly things such as zips and buttons?

If everything else is OK with her motor skills it might just be a case of building her stamina. We were recommended rhythmic movement therapy which we have been doing for a while now, with a lot of focus on strengthening hands.

Glera Tue 09-Mar-21 20:38:05

Use the body, tail and head of a cat to help imagine the letters. The tail dangles below the line, the body sits on the line and the head ascended upwards.

Just another visual representation and way to imagine.

EBearhug Tue 09-Mar-21 22:39:29

Get her drawing and colouring lots too

Yes, I was going to suggest this - it's the same muscles as holding a pencil to write, but if she finds it more fun, then it'll probably be more than 15 minutes before complains of pain.

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