11 answers

Handwriting Help

My boys have ATROCIOUS handwriting (my daughter could use some tweaking as well). The 18yo's is at least readable but I'm surprised that my 11yo can even read what he's written down. I certainly can't! Since they don't really teach handwriting in school, I'm afraid my 6yo will end up the same way. I'm looking for something I can use to help both my 11yo and 6yo to improve their handwriting. Something that is free would be great but I'm willing to spend a little if I need to. Does anyone have any ideas for me?

1 mom found this helpful

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Thanks for all the great ideas! I'm going to hit some of the local teacher supply stores on Friday and see if I can find some things to help them out. :-)

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Italic handwriting. My older son learned this form of "handwriting". It's simpler than the old fashioned style I learned in school. More like printing with a slant. I used a fill in workbook to teach my son. There are free worksheets online and here's an article to get you started:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/09/04/opinion/200...

1 mom found this helpful

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Go to your local parent-teacher store and get some workbooks. Handwriting is a dying art form and it is being replaced by typing skills very quickly.

There are relatively inexpensive workbooks that you can purchase that teach the various writing methods. I use one with my preschooler for the same reason. I want him to be able to write and it's just not really a focus.

1 mom found this helpful

Italic handwriting. My older son learned this form of "handwriting". It's simpler than the old fashioned style I learned in school. More like printing with a slant. I used a fill in workbook to teach my son. There are free worksheets online and here's an article to get you started:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/09/04/opinion/200...

1 mom found this helpful

"Handwriting Without Tears" . You also can find more resources at Barnes & Noble.

I homeschool. My 7 year old has excellent manuscript and she's loving cursive so far. She loves her handwriting books, it's her favorite no-brainer for the day to just sit and practice her handwriting. We use the Zaner Bloser books, and I've also heard Handwriting Without Tears is good. The Zaner Bloser books are pretty cheap and very simple to use. Their font is highly recommended for transition to cursive.

You order from them: www.zaner-bloser.com. I recommend the first grade one for your 6 year-old. You can probably skip kindergarten one if she has started writing already.

Crayola has alphabet coloring pages to practice both print and cursive writing. My son uses these coloring pages. He is 5. We haven't started cursive writing yet, but his print is very clean after using these coloring pages.

Each coloring page has one line for practicing lower case and one line for upper case, along with a box to draw a picture of something that starts with that letter. I usually print out the writing practice page and the simple alphabet letter coloring page at the same time. My son loves to color and draw. The drawing and coloring help motivate him to do the writing as well.

The coloring pages on crayola are free. When I started having my son practice writing, we did one letter a day. Now we are doing two letters a day for three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we use the Starfall (the free stuff) letter practicing pages to practice writing. He has finished most of the prints, so I am using the blank writing sheet on Starfall to have him write a two or three sentence little story. He draws a picture of the story on the other side of the paper. I think the crayola site has better cursive practice pages than Starfall's cursive pages. However, Starfall is great for teaching reading and practicing print.

You could try the crayola and starfall sites for your 6 year old. I would probably have your 11 year old keep a daily journal. If he doesn't know what to write about, you could give him a topic each time. Topics don't have to be his private thoughts, if he is reluctant to share that with you. He can write about "Why spaghetti is his favorite food" for example. Nothing threatening to his privacy, yet he can still be creative if he wants. I would have him at least write one paragraph a day. Of course it must be neatly written, or he would have to do it again.

Use the font "school text lined" and just stay on him about forming words properly. I am a Kinder teacher and do handwriting daily with my students!

It comes down to small motor control and practice.
Have them keep a journal and they can write daily in it.
Not like a diary - just a running commentary of their thoughts / events of the day.
Even if all they write is 'I can't believe my Mom makes me write in this journal every day' - it should be legible.

If they use it for nothing else - a person's signature is still pretty important on many legal documents - from a mortgage to a marriage license to signing checks.

I had to put a signature font into a check writing program once and the signature in question was SO illegible I could NOT tell if it were right side up or not.
I took a poll of several people in my department - we made a decision.
Oh well - we guessed wrong and I had to turn it around the following week.
Seriously - it was a complete scribble.

Say WHATTT!?!?!?! They don't teach handwriting in school anylonger? That just seems crazy to me. Well, I guess the best thing to do would be to get those writing/tracing books from a teaching store and add it to the standard homework needs. There are TONS of videos about it on YouTube.

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