Q. What should I do when my child’s teacher tells me that my child needs extra handwriting practice?
A. Firstly, I would say do not panic. Research tells us that between 10 to 34% of children in mainstream school struggle with handwriting. This equates to a third of your child’s class also having handwriting difficulties, so your child is not alone. By finding this website you are already in the right place to be able to help your child. The best thing to do is to seek help early. There is nothing worse than a child who is frustrated with their handwriting or one who starts to avoid writing completely. Here on this site, you will find everything you need from handwriting worksheets with individual letters of the alphabet to story writing activities going through to one-to-one help with myself. If in doubt do ask and I’ll be able to help guide you.
Q. How do I build my child’s confidence without them getting frustrated?
A. One of the key areas of being a successful writer is by being able to repeatedly write the same 26 letters in different ways to create words and sentences. For a child to be able to write legibly they need to have what is called muscle memory. This is when the muscles in their hand can remember the movements needed to make the letter shapes.
One method of doing this is to repeatedly write the same letter over and over again. Personally, I would find that very boring and so do many of the children that I work with. I take a different approach and use handwriting worksheets that capture a child’s imagination. As we all know when we are interested in something we can lose track of time. This is what will banish your child’s frustration and increase their confidence. Helping them to capture the lovely thoughts that are in their head and be able to write them down on the paper.
Q. When my son and I do some writing practice he tends to say very quickly his hand hurts, what can I do?
A. This sounds like a problem that is linked to how your child is gripping the pencil. When they hold the pencil tightly this causes a loss of blood supply to the hand and then they say that their hand hurts. They will often put the pencil down in between writing and shake their hands. Although some of the recent research suggests that the type of pencil grip is not as important as we used to think we do know that when a child’s hand hurts they write slower, they write less and they are unable to show us their true academic ability. Looking at the pencil grip is very important and I can advise on this.
Q. What should I do if a teacher tells me not to pay for handwriting help?
A. This is a difficult one to answer. I would say that there are many teachers who do you know how to teach a whole class handwriting. However, they may not know exactly what your child is needing. Your child could have a problem with how they hold the pencil when writing. They may not have the pencil control needed to be able to write legible letters. Or they may not have what is called visual perceptual skills. This the ability to recognise the letter shape that needs to be drawn. Alternatively, they could just be needing extra time to practice and master letter writing.
As parents, you do know best. You know when your child is struggling and when they need extra help. You also know that being told your child is part of an extra handwriting group being taken out of class may not be the right thing for them.
Handwriting is part of the national curriculum. There are tutors across the whole of the country who help with all sorts of specific areas linked to the curriculum whether that be English or Maths, and teachers accept this. So why would they not accept the extra handwriting help can be provided by a professional who has greater expertise than them in this area? If you are uncertain to what to do next, do contact me and I will be happy to help your child discover how handwriting can be a pleasure.
It would be great to hear from you. If you have a handwriting question or are just wondering whether this is right for you and your child, then please drop me a line. I promise I’ll answer within 24 hours. Thank you.
Alternatively, Call Now on 01243 252310 or 07810 806914.