Why am I Writing this Blog?

I am very concerned about the growing level of illiteracy among our children. This blog is for parents who are homeschooling, parents whose children are falling behind at school and they don't know how to help them, teachers who would like to bounce ideas off an experienced teacher or get ideas to help student with problems. I will do everything in my power to help anyone in the areas of reading and writing.

In this blog I'll be using the original English spelling forms, so please make allowances if you're American or have been taught the American spelling form.

Please be understanding about the advertisements on the blog. It gives me the opportunity to earn a little to add to my pension.

Related links for teaching training, lesson plans and worksheets:

Fantastic Free Video series on how to teach handwriting:
by handwriting expert Nan Jay Barchowsky
by handwriting teacher Matt Nisjak

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: http://www.handwritingebooks.com/
101 sheets of lower case and 101 of upper case letters, plus a bonus book on numbers and another on words for $5.95 for the lot - A great bargain.

Information on Education and Homeschooling
EducationBug: Education Directory - articles, directory, newsletter and profiles on schools

Free Worksheets:
Eastside Literacy
First - Schools

Lined Handwriting Sheets:
Handwriting For Kids

Making Handwriting Sheets:
Handwriting Worksheets
Ed Helper

Videos About Teaching Handwriting:
Teachers TV

Free Lessons and Ideas:
The Electric Company
First 55 Come Alive
Literacy, Families and Learning
ESL Partyland

Ed Helper - Spelling
Ed Helper - Reading Comprehension
Ed Helper - Vocabulary
First - School
Sites for Teachers
Sites for Parents
Clipart for Worksheets
The Teacher's Corner
Teaching Made Easier
School Express

Membership Sites:
Ed Helper
Reading A-Z
ELSIE: Reading 0-6

Inexpensive Handwriting Books
Staidens Homeschooling

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Handwriting Readiness (Pt.1) in Children aged 3 - 6 years

"What's all this about handwriting readiness?" you might say. "You just give the kid a pencil and off she goes. Right!"

Well, actually, No! Giving your child pencils too early in their development, can quite often lead to illegible, untidy, badly formed and badly sized writing, which will take a great deal of time to correct later on - that's if it can be corrected. It takes a great deal of determination in a student to change a stongly ingrained bad habit and some find it just too hard.

Handwriting is a complex operation. Activities that use all senses (multi-sensory) and feeling and moving (kinesthetic), prepare students for letter and number formation before they begin learning to write.

Well developed fine motor skills are necessary for a student to write well and it is the very, very, rare three or four year old, who has these skills. A five year old, who has had sufficient pre-handwriting experiene may be ready, but sometimes a child may be even older before these skills develop.

Handwriting readiness is dependent upon the presence of seven foundational skills.

  1. small muscle development
  2. hand-eye coordination
  3. utensil or tool manipulation
  4. basic stroke formation
  5. alphabet letter recognition
  6. orientation to written language
  7. understanding of spatial relationships

Fomal handwriting instruction can begin as early as kindergarten year and some children will take off and never look back. Some, however, will struggle for the rest of their lives, because one or more of the above seven developmental stages had not been reached, when they were required to learn letter formation.

In following blogs, I'll explain more fully the seven prerequisites for handwriting readiness and give activities that can aid in the formation of each.


There also needs to be gross motor activities to get the brain going and give students more control over their bodies. Try dancing, little athletics, skipping, running around kicking a ball with them - get them moving and away from the TV and computer games. Not that these things are necessarily bad, but there needs to be balance.

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