Teaching Handwriting, Post
Teaching Handwriting can be straight-forward. It’s a matter of learning a few phrases for regular repetition and a few others. It’s like learning to drive. Once you know what you’re doing, it’s easy and automatic.
- Work on the small letters first, then the capital letters. Many books and classroom methods teach the two together. For any child finding this difficult concentrate on one at a time.
- Starting with the lower case, work on letters with only straight lines.
- Then work on letters with round shapes, followed by letters with stems and tails. A stem is the stick that goes up, and the tail is the part that hangs down. A ‘d’ has a stem and a ‘g’ has a tail.
- Do the same with capitals – straight lines such as capital ‘L’ and follow up with letters with rounded parts.
- Say to your child, “All capital letters stand on the line,” meaning none of them has a tail.
- Regarding small letters, say “The body of the letter sits on the line.” Explain that the body of the letter is the round part.
- Ask the child to write small letters such as ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘u’, ‘o’, ‘p’ ‘q’ etc.
- Then ask the student to colour in the body of the letter. This reinforces what the body is and where it sits.
When you encounter a problem
- Avoid overloading the child. You will know when you can introduce the next step.
- If a child feels frustrated when writing then tell him it’s like drawing and it’s a form of art.
- Write some letters in large. Ask your child to copy them and then see if he can turn each letter into a picture.
- To strengthen a child’s hand muscles, you could set up a potato peeling activity at the kitchen bench on a regular basis. There are other activities you can invent yourself, such as threading buttons.
The word ‘loop’ can be a problem. Children ‘loop’ into the ‘m’ and ‘n’ and then draw a loop on the way out of letters. The loop has become big and is not part of the letter. This makes the children’s letters too wide. Ask your student to begin the letter on the line and when finished the letter, say tick. And children love to do ticks!