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We do it everyday but writing is a complex task and can be quite daunting for little kids. It involves motor skills and thinking ability and both work together when we write. Therefore it takes time to foster and years to become a good writer.

Children understand from a very early age that the written word holds meanings. They start off by scribbling gibberish and then gradually form alphabets. Actually toddlers enjoy scribbling and while it may look like a simple task, it requires plenty of coordination. The small fingers have to hold the crayon, keep the paper still and apply pressure to make a small mark. Patterns set in much later.

The first ‘real’ writing

Only when the child is about 3-4 years old he or she includes a few recognisable letters in the endless scribbles. As parents we should not push them. They write random letters and realise that they make words much later. As they grow up they group letters. Here the parent plays a major role in helping them to make small words from the letters. Spell out words and encourage them to write on their own. Initially the hand writing will be big and curvy which later on becomes small and neat.


Handwriting is important

Although we live in a society driven by keyboards, children still need to learn to write. In fact it is a key part of learning and communication. Research says that writing skills reinforce reading skills and vice versa. As a parent you need to give due importance to good hand writing right from the basic school years. This means even holding the pencil along with the child to improve the formation of alphabets.

Here are a few tips to help to improve your child’s handwriting:

  1. Take it slowly- Do not expect your child to write well write from the beginning. sometimes handwriting gets untidy because your child tries to finish the work quickly. Encourage her to take time to form the letters clearly.
  2. Mistakes are common- This is an important lesson for each and every thing. Teach your child to accept mistakes and keep an eraser handy.
  3. Reinforce proper formation of letters- It is important that your child learns proper letter formation. If required talk to your child’s teachers to learn the best way to teach him.
  4. Proper positioning of the pencil- Ideally your child will use what is called a tripod grasp. This means the pencil should rest near the base of the thumb, held in place with the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Plastic pencil grips sold at office supply stores may help if your child has trouble holding a pencil properly.
  5. Help to make your child’s fingers strong for gripping- Let your child play with clay, play dough and sponges.
  6. Practice brings improvement- Encourage your child to practice at least a page of handwriting everyday. Do not make it a painful task but instead encourage and reward good effort.

Handwriting is very important especially for a student. As a parent you can play an important role in shaping your child’s writing. Be sure to begin early.


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