How to Teach Handwriting
How did we teach handwriting in our homeschool? This is what we were using when ED had just turned 5.
ED really enjoys writing… Here’s a picture of ED writing in her journal from last January (age 4). The kids and I made a special trip to Staples for them to pick out their own journals. I offered to write whatever they wanted for them, so they could record things about their day. While I wrote heaps for DD and LD, much to my surprise, ED insisted on writing in her journal herself (I told her which letters to write)!! As you can see… there were some things about handwriting ED still had to learn!The first thing you’ll notice is that she was (and still is) obsessed with McKenna, an American Girl Doll! Every single sentence in her journal starts with McKenna! You’ll also notice that she had a strange pencil grip and that ED only used capital letters.
There is a wonderful resource at Parents for helping teach your preschooler and kindergartner handwriting.Lauren Stern, a pediatric occupational therapist and handwriting specialist put together an entire series of handwriting videos. They are so helpful!! If you want to learn more about teaching your child to write, you will find the entire series here:Parents Handwriting Videos.
For example, Laurent explains how to teach kids to hold their pencils correctly: Teaching the Proper Grip
The video shows that there are two types of pencil grasps. ED’s was a little funky and she’s been working on holding it in a tripod grasp.
This semester it was time for ED to tackle those lower case letters. Lauren explains that lower case letters are more challenging than upper case letters because of the size variation and frequent change in direction. She recommends waiting until your child is in kindergarten before attempting to introduce them. ED turned 5 this semester. Lauren follows the same program that we’ve been using, Handwriting Without Tears, which uses just two lines for writing.
Here are ED’s first shaky attempts to make that “magic c” back in January:
Lauren explains how to do some of these lowercase letters in her series. Here’s a sample video…
ED worked her way through the book tackling the letters that were in the middle (c, a, e, s) and moving on to those that are above the line (l, t, d, h, k, etc) and those that fall below the line (g, p, etc.)
I really like Handwriting Without Tears and ED will move on to the next in the series, though lately I’ve just had her working on specific letters using some homemade handwriting pages. She keeps keeps her Handwriting Without Tears book open in front of her. I’ll hear her saying to herself… up like a helicopter, bump and down!
Download a blank handwriting page.
Once again, you’ll find the entire series of Parents Handwriting Videos here. These seventeen videos include the pencil grip, lower and upper case letter, and other helpful hints.