Teaching Handwriting to Children
Teachers say it time and time again. They tell their students to “write clearly,” so that they can read what their child was trying to convey. Often teachers take this rule so far as to mark questions wrong on a test or homework assignment that are not legible, or to not give the student credit for his or her work. It is for this reason, and many others, that it is important to teach children handwriting from an early age.
Teaching children handwriting is very important. Throughout life, people use writing in almost every aspect of their lives, from writing reminder notes, to homework, writing in a journal, thank you notes, and, perhaps most importantly, in employment.
While one would think that schools, primarily in the early grades, would teach children proper handwriting, this is often not the case. Often teachers are not trained in this field, do not give it sufficient time, or are unable to train children properly because of large class sizes. Writing is the final process of thinking. When given an assignment, children will think about it, and then write it down as a final way to communicate their answer. If a parent or teacher cannot interpret what the child wrote, it can be frustrating for all parties involved. Therefore, it is important for parents, as well as teachers, to understand how to teach handwriting to children.
One of the key factors for learning handwriting is that children have a quiet place to write. In front of the television or in a noisy room with a lot of action is going to distract the child, and prevent him or her from having a productive writing session. Secondly, children need to practice what they have learned. The phrase “practice makes perfect” definitely rings true in this situation. Without constant practice, the child’s handwriting will improve just slightly, if at all. To help a child practice what they have learned in previous sessions or classes, worksheets are strongly encouraged. These worksheets can include anything from words for the child to copy down on the lines provided for them, to worksheets in which the child has to list the items shown in pictures, and copy them several times. Whatever the content is that they contain, practice worksheets are an enormously large tool in helping a child improve his or her handwriting.
There are several other games and activities that children and adults can engage in together in order to help the child learn. Making lists together, such as grocery lists or “to do” lists will help the child write out words that he or she may have practiced, as well as some new words and phrases. Learning the words to a favorite song, then copying them down onto a piece of paper is also an activity that children will enjoy, for they will feel as if they are not doing “real work.” Games and activities are important to use when teaching a child something. Practicing handwriting can get tedious. To prevent the child from getting frustrated, small games and activities help to prevent anger and frustration.
People write things down everyday, in various environments and in various forms. It is a large part of our lives, and therefore is very important that handwriting be learned from an early age. The tools and pointers mentioned above should help your child onto the path to perfect handwriting!
This article was posted on October 17, 2006
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