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Assessing Your Child’s Handwriting At Home

Parents can play an crucial role in assessing their child’s handwriting, but it can be tricky to distinguish between typical errors and red flags for handwriting issues. In this blog post, we will explore the common misconceptions parents make when assessing handwriting and provide tips on how to avoid them.


Common Handwriting Misconceptions

Many parents focus on size and neatness when assessing their child's handwriting. Although these are important factors, speed has a huge impact on handwriting fluency too. If a child struggles to keep up with their thoughts while writing, this may indicate that they need additional support in improving their handwriting skills.


Parents should also try not to compare their child's handwriting to others in the same age group. Each child develops at their own pace, and it is vital to remember that neatness will improve with practice and patience.


Therefore, by focusing on the overall fluency and the individual progress of their child's writing, parents can effectively support them in developing strong handwriting skills.


What Can Parents Do?

Posture

Surprisingly, poor posture can be a cause of handwriting difficulties in children. When your child writes, it is important to ensure their feet are flat on the floor and their desk/table and chair are at the appropriate height. In addition, it helps to have a clean and uncluttered writing surface with plenty of room for them to move their arm as they write.


Pencil/pen grip

Many children are not taught a proper pencil grip, resulting in difficulties with handwriting as they grow older. One of the most effective grips is the "dynamic tripod grip", where the pencil is held between the thumb and pointer finger while resting on the middle finger. It allows better control and overall comfort while writing.




Size

Letters that are too small or too large can be difficult for the reader to decipher, impacting legibility and readability. Similarly, writing that is consistently either too wide or too narrow can affect the flow and appearance of a written task. One solution is to practice on lined paper. By using guidelines, a child can see how their letters should fit within certain boundaries and adjust accordingly. This can also help improve consistent sizing among all letters in a word or sentence.


Shape

It is important to pay attention to the legibility and consistency of your child’s letters. Are their letters formed correctly and easy to read? It can be helpful to group them into letter families, paying special attention to any inconsistency in letter patterns. For example, the “o,” “c,” and “e” all have a similar circular shape. Practising letter families can help improve formation and writing. Also, try practising letter formation in fun ways such as skywriting, painting or sand writing before using a pen/pencil.


Speed

Speed is often overlooked as an essential handwriting skill. However, research has shown that the development of a child’s writing speed can have a significant impact on the quantity and quality of their written work. Children are not expected to reach their full handwriting speed potential until Year 5 or 6 (in primary school). Therefore, parents need to provide appropriate support and practice for their children to improve their handwriting speed as they go along. This can be done by encouraging them to form letters correctly and conducting timed writing activities.


Summary

Handwriting is an vital skill that can affect many aspects of a child's life. By focusing on proper pencil grip, size, shape and speed, parents can help their child develop good handwriting habits. Thus, with practice and patience, any child can improve their handwriting skills and produce beautifully written work.




More Curricular offer handwriting training (www.morehandwritingapp.co.uk) and provide research-led assessment and learning tools that make a real difference in the lives of UK children. We are proud to be an award-winning company with a strong focus on customer satisfaction.

Twitter: @MoreCurricular Facebook: MoreCurricular Instagram: @more_curricular

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