We adults often take the level of work we put into writing our thoughts on paper for granted—it’s almost like it came with us from birth, but this is untrue. Young children go through stages of development in their body and mind before writing things down. They need adults to teach them to write legibly. Handwriting can significantly affect children’s academic grading, so it may be crucial to unlocking their creative sides, self-confidence, critical thinking ability, and showing more interest in reading. Here are recommendations to help you teach a child to write legibly.
Start with designing plans to achieve the required skills for good handwriting, and ensure making every step fun for them. At this stage, you will teach the child to sit in the right posture, maintain composure, plus hold pencils. Make children associate a positive feeling to learning with contests and games designed to improve their fine motor skills such as Lego or Jigsaw Puzzle. Help them get familiar with letters, as well as numbers using videos. Do not hesitate to point these things out when you see them on the street or school walls.
Write with the child and be clear when pointing out what needs improvement. Add games and fun techniques that make conceptualizing the writing easier for them: make them write in the sand at the beach, in the kitchen with flour, at the park with paints—you get it. Teach the child to differentiate between cases of letters, also show him/her to use lines on books properly to work in proportion. When the child learns to write each letter in different cases, proceed to guide him/her on forming words and spacing between letters in words. Patience is another crucial part of this stage for parents or teachers, most times, what the children need is some time to assimilate the lessons, so give your support to keep them practicing.
Encourage children as they learn with practice if they lag or find things difficult. Always keep in mind that the children would need to rest, so allow them a break between activities. Some children may need intervention with occupational therapy if you notice they are slow to write, cannot differentiate between cases, or write irregularly after many attempts. You can visit the doctor if you suspect that your child has conditions that may hinder learning abilities—Dysgraphia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, or Dyslexia. The most common red flags for dysgraphia may include abnormal posture or wrist positioning when writing, as well as a poor sense of spacing between letters.
Finally, healthy children love to take on new challenges every day, this is why you should keep the environment where they learn conducive, positive, and lively as much as possible. Give them time to catch up on what you teach and help them see the issue with their handwriting when you have to, although as gently as you can. Always watch out for abnormal behavior when children show prolonged difficulty in general learning and do not hesitate to reach out to the doctor or request therapy.