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Recommendations for handwriting practice books/ worksheets etc please...

(13 Posts)
Legacy Wed 03-Jun-09 18:16:13

DS2 (nearly 7) Year 2 is really struggling with his handwriting.
I noticed his pencil grip was awkward, and he was pressing hard, also he twists his hand so that the back of his hand faces up towards the top of the page, rather than across to the right, which means that his writing slopes backwards.

I have spoken to his teacher, who gave him a pencil grip, and said would 'keep an eye' on it.

However I an getting frustrated. He's just told me today that the pencil drip 'disappeared' ages ago. He also knows he is slow at writing.

I want to get his grip and hand position sorted before it becomes a permanent thing, but feel angry that the school don't seem to be helping a lot.

I wondered if anyone can recommend a programme/ set of worksheets/ course or something that I can do with him from now and over the summer to see if I can help improve things before he goes off to Juniors in Sept?

I don't think it's ncessarily a strength/ fine motor skills issue - he does loads of lego, plays the piano, plays with little models etc.

mrz Wed 03-Jun-09 19:10:05

Rather than use books or worksheets or pencil grips I'd suggest a pen or pencil that encourages correct grip - yorpen or penagain (lots of similar on the market) and lined paper and teach correct formation starting and finishing points and sequence of movements.
It's very easy with books and worksheets to produce something that looks right but is really establishing more bad habits.

It's helpful if he says how he is forming the letters as he does it keeping the same "speech"

Curly caterpillar family
Anticlockwise movements
c round

o round, round and join

a round, up, down and flick

d round, up, up, down, down and flick

g round, up, down, down and round

q round, up, down, down and tick

s round and round the other way

f round, down, down and round – across

e across and round
one armed robot family
down, up and over movements

r down, up and over a bit

n down, up, over, down and flick

m down, up, over and down, up, over, down and flick

h down, down, up a bit, over, down and flick

b down, down, up a bit, over and round

p down, down, up, up, over and round

k down, down, up a bit, over, round, out and flick

long ladder family
mainly down and round movements

l down, down and flick

i down and flick – dot

t down and flick – across

j down, down and round – dot

u down, round, up, down and flick

y down, round, up, down, down and round

zig zag monster
diagonal movements

v down, up

w down, up, down, up

x down, stop – down, stop

z across, down, across

Legacy Thu 04-Jun-09 08:13:35

Thanks Mrz - yes, you're probably right about the not just copying workbooks etc.

I've bought him a S'move pencil which seems good, and also a couple of good pencil grips which really encourage the right 'tripod' position (when he hold his pencil his thumb tends to 'creep' up over his index finger).

You sound as if you know a lot about this - are you a teacher?

karise Thu 04-Jun-09 09:45:32

Just interested?
Does DS struggle at all on the piano? DD is the same age & was having piano lessons at school. School said she was doing fine, but then a piano teacher friend of mine saw her play & said her technique was awful!
4 months later, she has been having lessons with my friend who has really worked at the strength & movement of the individual finger joints so that they have very small curly movements (she calls it NO SPIDERY FINGERS PLEASE). Handwriting is already much improved & we have found that the school piano lessons were actually making it all worse!
Are there any similarities with your DS I wonder?

Legacy Thu 04-Jun-09 10:53:11

Karise - good point - I have no idea... He still very much a beginner on the piano, so I'm not sure I can tell, but I might have a chat to his teacher - thanks.

Re his writing, I just feel he has got into bad 'habits' i.e. position of arm/ hand/paper etc early on. He actually moved school at the beginning of Year 1, and I really hoped this school would have sorted it out/ focused on it, as I had a chat with his teachers. I'm just worried that he is about to go into Year 3, and he still worries more about physically writing, rather than what he writes.

However he is also youngest in class (Aug bday) so that obviously doesn't help.

coppertop Thu 04-Jun-09 11:00:19

A writing slope can help a lot with hand position and grip. Ready-made ones can be quite expensive but you can get good results with a home-made ones or even using an A4 folder to lean on.

Legacy Thu 04-Jun-09 11:01:35

coppertop - I hadn't heard about that - how does it work? Presumably high end at top of page?

coppertop Thu 04-Jun-09 11:09:19

Yes, the high end is at the top. The idea is that the paper is at a better angle for writing on so that there's less hand twisting while writing. It's also a more supportive posisition so there's less of a need for a tight grip on the pencil.

Something like this slope but it doesn't need to be an expensive one.

coppertop Thu 04-Jun-09 11:09:56

position not posisition. blush

karise Thu 04-Jun-09 11:27:59

It seems to be all about how tightly they grip the pencil or push with the whole hand on the piano. DD's teacher talks a lot about making the whole arm go to sleep and using just the fingers. DD used to be so worried about making a sound on the piano- her teacher has given her the confidence to work on the finger strength and not worry about whether any sound actually comes out! Her best exercise which helps with writing too is 'owl eyes'. Make a cirle shape with the thumb & index finger then press the finger gently into the thumb- then repeat on the other fingers. This practise has done so much for DD's individual finger movement & in turn her handwriting.
I think the paino teacher is your key here! He/she is a top expert on finger movement & to observe a lesson would really help you to understand what they are trying to achieve. Class teachers just don't have the time or expertise in these things I'm afraid!
Hope these comments help- I can't tell you how much it has helped DD!

dancingbear Thu 04-Jun-09 12:25:34

Try one of these, it should stop him from hooking his hand.

http://www.taskmasteronline.co.uk/prod-detail.asp?ProductID=3826

mummyrex Sat 06-Jun-09 11:57:29

there is a handwriting guide sheet here in the Free Downloads section larkeducation.co.uk/
which you can print off. We used it with our son, laminated and always with him when he was writing to remind him. Just ask hime to write someting, anything (eg spellings) out everyday and constantly correct, don't let him write anything the wrong way.

cuppateaplease Sat 06-Jun-09 17:54:07

For writing ideas during the summer holidays I used to get DS to write a weather diary - this is a nice and short writing exercise where you can really concentrate on making the letters correct. Plus we also did a holiday diary - what we did during the day, what he liked best etc, then he drew a picture of it and we added photos/tickets and leaflets etc. The holiday diaries were lovely to look back on later as well as being good writing opportunities!

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