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Improving Your Child's Handwriting 

Did you know Handwriting is not being taught to children anymore? This is why every child forms letters their own way. Most children start at the bottom and go their way up, forming each letter however they see fit without lifting their pencil. As a result, they retrace lines over and over, and spend more time forming each letter than necessary.

More children are having illegible handwriting and strain their hand muscles even from copying short passages. This causes children to have an aversion towards any writing implements or even using crayons to color! 

Even though each year it seems that younger children are given computers to keyboard, handwriting is still a valuable skill to learn because it teaches children to be patient with themselves and to express their thoughts creatively with their hands. Handwriting is a form of art! Nothing can replace a handwritten thank you letter to a teacher or a note written to your mom expressing your gratitude and love towards her.

In this article, I am going to share with you some tips and tricks to help your child improve their handwriting skills which will also boost their confidence and hopefully love for handwriting!

1.     Come up with a fun story about each line and name them. For example, Mr. Sun “top line” said good morning to the grass “bottom line” when it came up in this morning. Naming your lines can help your child recall where letters should start and which direction they from there.   

2.     Have your child practice lifting their pencil! This is so important and often forgotten. By lifting their pencil, children are less reluctant to retrace lines, thus increasing their writing speed. Handwriting Without Tears uses awesome lift-up pencil worksheets in their writing curriculums.   

3.     Use three-lined paper. There is a ton of variety of paper. Some paper comes with wider space between the lines and others are narrower. I find when children are first learning to form letters, having wider lined paper is more beneficial. 

Children can pay closer attention to how they are forming each letter, and can practice forming short letters ie. “a, c, o” below the dotted middle line. This also helps with letter sizing!

4.     Give texture to your paper. You can get raised line paper where the top and bottom lines are indented to prompt the child when to stop, and not surpass the textured line. Another alternative is using wiki sticks, which are sticky waxed sticks that can be placed over the top line. This also does the trick!

5.     Finally, be creative and come up with a fun saying for each letter. Here’s an example,  Ms. Apple wanted to go sliding down on the slide. So, she started by starting all the way on the top and went sliding down on the right slide. Draw a right slant. She then decided she wanted to go again so she went all the way up. Have your child lift their pencil and go up to the top. This time she went sliding down on the left slide. Now have your child draw a left slant. Ms. Apple then decided to connect the two slides, so she wrapped a rope between the two slides, now draw a line across.

By: Katherine Solimine, MSOT, OTR/L 10/17/2022

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