What is required for effective handwriting skills


Handwriting skills for kids

It is an approach to handwriting that uses a developmentally-appropriate progression through the letters of the alphabet.  I took into consideration all the fundamentals of writing along with how a child's fine motor skills develop from infancy to toddler-hood then on to early childhood. When made aware of all that is involved in the process of handwriting, a parent can help their children become better prepared with the fine motor, visual motor & sensometer skills needed to start these early handwriting tasks.

The purpose is to help parents identify the parts of handwriting needed for their child to succeed, as well as to determine whether further assessment or help is needed.

One of the most important & often overlooked aspects of handwriting is posture. Where are the child's arms in relation to the table or desk? What are their legs doing underneath the surface & do their feet touch the floor? A child & also the adult needs to have 90-90-90 degree sitting. This means 90 degree angles at the Elbows resting on the table, 90 degrees at the Knees & 90 degrees at the Hips (not slouching or pushing forward in the chair) This may sound simple, but think of how many times you have seen children hanging off their as they try to write it. It makes a huge difference in the outcome.

Another area is to assess is how the child is holding their crayon or pencil. This is called "grip " & developmentally progresses from the use of the whole hand to the use of the "tripod " which involves the thumb, the index & middle finger.Grip can affect how a child uses pressure when writing.
Take a "look " at how the child is seeing. How is his/her vision? Children need to be able to track from left to right, convert their eyes to focus on the letter, keep the eyes attending to the paper to complete the writing & be able to adjust quickly if looking at a distant whiteboard & then back to their paper multiple times. 

Following are the components needed for the process of writing

MEMORY 

Recall of letters & numbers quickly & easily.

SIZE

There are specific sizes per grade level that a child should work forward. This progresses from bigger to smaller as they grow.

FORMATION

A child must start the letter correctly. All upper case letters start at the top of the line. If a child starts from the bottom, the results are often messy when they start to increase their speed. They also need to know what stroke comes next & in order.

ORIENTATION

This is a common concern often found in young children when they face their letters backward (reversed) or upside down. Letters must face the correct direction "B, D, F, E, J, R,etc " are all letters that may be seen turned the opposite way.

PLACEMENT

Sitting the letters on the bottom line consistently . Look for floating letters or letters that are dropping below the line.

CONTROL

Being able to smoothly coordinate movement when writing to produce neat, legible writing.

SPACING

The ability to place the appropriate amount of space between letters, between words & lastly between sentences.

Although HANDWRITING is not taught the same as it was in past years, it continues to be a very important part of a child's education. It is needed in almost every subject in some form or another. When a child struggles in this area, it can affect their self-confidence, self-image, performance on tests & assignments & can lead to anxiety or even behavior issues. 

Being prepared for what to look for early on, intervening before a child establishes bad habits, & then knowing when to seek the help of a professional will help your child succeed in school, giving them confidence & an eagerness to learn.
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