I teach handwriting to kids. Good for you for wanting to get a head start. I agree with Jill F. – it is important to look at what handwriting program your school is using. There are MANY programs out there (D'Neilian and Zaner-Bloser are the most popular but some schools use other programs). You want to make sure that you teach letters for the program the school is using so she will not have to "re-learn" the formation (** I have had parents report to me that some schools make kids form letters according to their program so if the child uses another program the school corrects the child). There are some wonderful websites that show how to form letters according to the handwriting program the school uses.
When teaching handwriting there are a number of things to keep in mind.
1) a child must recognize letters before they can write them
2) the straight line letters are easier to learn (e.g. /E/F/H/I/L/T/)
3) upper case letters are easier than lower case letters – that being said each handwriting program is different some teach upper and lower together)
4) do not practice formal writing (pencil/paper) for more than 5-7 minutes a day
5) use fun activities to encourage writing - e.g. trace letters using the correct formation using rainbow writing (you write the letter and have her trace the letter in different colors using correct sequence), place cheerios/mini m&m on the line of letters again in the same sequence that you use to write the letter, etc)
6) use boarders when writing (don’t use a blank piece of paper when writing letters). For her age you can divide paper into 6 boxes (1 horizontal line, 2 vertical lines) and write one letter in each box.
7) don’t set expectations too high – I don’t expect 3 year olds to write. Part of this is because most 3 year olds do not have proper pencil grasp thus if they write too young an inefficient grasp maybe reinforced.
I have a lot of handouts – let me know if you are interested.