In today’s world of computers, portable devices and other ‘screens’, it might be easy to think that handwriting is a redundant skill for kids.
While technology is racing into classrooms all over Australia, children are still required to hand write exams such as NAPLAN and the HSC, so it’s important that your child can write comfortably and efficiently for extended periods of time in order to ‘show what they know’
These tips, from Kids First’s occupational therapists, are important for all parents and teachers who are encouraging children to write well.
To reduce fatigue and gain good control over your arm and fingers you need to be sitting with good posture. Being able to activate your core and stabilizing muscles is an important step to maintaining a good posture when writing.
To reduce pain and fatigue within the hand, wrist and elbow during written tasks as well as producing neat writing, a functional pencil grip should be used.
A functional grip allows for movement in the thumb and fingers when writing.
Using the correct NSW letter formation when writing will help to ensure neat and legible work. It will also help with a smooth transition from printing to cursive and finally allow for increasing speed.
Grouping letters into ‘letter families’ will help your child remember how to form their letters
Sizing of letters is vital for the legibility of your child’s handwritten work.
There are three different letter sizes.
Ensuring that all the letters are the same size is important.
Words also need to have a space between them.
The size of the space should be consistent throughout the written text.
When your child is learning to put spaces into their written work, the use of a spacer can also be helpful. This could simply be your child’s finger or a rubber.
Applying too much or not enough pressure to written work will directly affect its readability. It can also cause pain and fatigue in the writer.
Encouraging your child to correct their work neatly is an important step in handwriting.
A mistake should either have one line drawn through the middle followed by a space or be rubbed out.
If you or your child’s teacher have expressed concerns about your child’s handwriting, Kids First’s experienced occupational therapists can help.
We’ve guided hundreds of children in Sydney’s northern beaches toward neater, easier, faster handwriting and we can help your child too.
We also conduct assessments for children who require special provisions or exemptions for examinations such as NAPLAN and the HSC.
Contact us on (02) 9938 5419 to chat about your child’s needs, or click on the image below to find out more about occupational therapy support at Kids First.
School Ready: get the guide for school readiness you've been looking for