Does your child's handwriting look like this?
...by Year 1, this is what teachers are expecting to see... letters and words that are being clearly written
At this age, handwriting is all about writing words clearly
For children aged 5 to 6 years being at school and learning about handwriting is an exciting time. They will have already spent one year at school, having made a lot of new friends and are keen to learn as much as possible. This is also the time when you may hear a lot of 'why' questions as they wish to understand more about the world around them.
In class, they are learning how to form alphabet letters, write words and write number 0 to 9. Occasionally at this age, there are some letter and number reversals. The most common ones are the number 3 and the letter R. As a parent of a child aged 5 to 6 years you should not be too concerned about this.
Let me ask you this, can your child do all of these handwriting skills?
This is what they should be doing by now...
Writes the alphabet – able to copy the sequence of letters
Completes handwriting patterns – without a change in direction
Controls the pencil – making all marks on the paper clear and without wobbles
Write using cursive (joined up) writing – joins letters together
Sit well – with their feet flat on the floor, bottom at the back of a chair and at a desk
Holds the paper – using their non-dominant hand to stop the paper from moving
3 fingered pencil grip (tripod grip) – writes using this grip
Uses one hand – has a preferred hand dominance
What happens in school at this age?
Between the ages of 5 to 6 years, the school curriculum teaches your child about plants, the seasons, the names of body parts and different animals. This is a time for children to develop the meaning to the handwriting patterns and letter strokes that they have previously learned when writing in their topic books.
At school children will be asked to start sequencing sentences to form short stories. They will be expected to begin to use capital letters, full stops, explanation marks and question marks within their work.
In school, handwriting practice will be 15 minutes a day
Similar to pupils in Year 2, handwriting practice in Year 1 is often 15 minutes a day. This is the only time they have to continue to develop their handwriting skills within the school day.
Want to learn more?
Swipe my exact step-by-step plan that will help your child master joined up letters with ease. Follow the sequence of emails over the next 7 days to achieve handwriting success.
Transform your child's handwriting in 7 days
What can you do?
Children at this age are keen to learn and to new their new skills both at home and at school. Using handwriting worksheets that link into the school curriculum will help a child understand how handwriting can be used in everyday life.
In my experience, children who find handwriting difficult continue to be motivated to keep trying to improve on their work.
Here are 3 easy things that you can do at home:
One key factor is making sure that they can touch their feet flat on the floor. Without this occurring, they may feel unstable and struggle to control their pencil strokes. It would be great to re-enforce this at home too.
2. Use a handwriting worksheet - Here is an example of what I use for helping children learn to write single words. There is an astronaut explaining what he or she would want to do in space. There is also a Halloween themed worksheet asking children to make a ghost spiral by writing spooky words along the spiral.
3. Lego - Use lego pieces to make words. For example, the word 'boy' would be one tall rectangle, one small square, and one tall rectangle lego block. To show that the letter 'y' goes under the line you place the top of this block starting at the same height as the small block. This helps children visually see how individual letters can be grouped together to form words.
What to do next?
There are various ways you can help your child.
- You can choose worksheets designed to help them develop their pencil control skills. I create my own and they have been nominated for awards. Yes please, click here!
- Follow my step-by-step 7 day email support called 'Transform by child's writing in 7 days'. It's free 🙂 Fill your details in the grey box above in the 'Want to learn more' section.
- Work with me 1:1 either by Skype or in person. Yes, please, click here to complete the contact form.
*names changed for confidentiality