Does your child's handwriting look like this?
...by Year 2, this is what teachers are expecting to see... clearly written words that have spaces
At this age, handwriting is all about creating spaces between words
Between the ages of 6 to 7 years, a child's handwriting journey continues. They may be introduced to the concept of handwriting rewards or handwriting licences. This is when they are given motivational incentives to improve their handwriting and are allowed to use a pen rather than only a pencil to write with.
To show their knowledge a child will be writing news reports, stories, poetry and writing about their personal experiences.
Reviewing and improving on their own work is a crucial skill when wishing to improve handwriting. In Year 1 this is started and it is often achieved by looking at how and what they have written.
Let me ask you this, can your child do all of these handwriting skills?
This is what they should be doing by now...
Have legible handwriting – all letters and words are easy to read
Enjoy writing – finds this an easy method to communicate ideas
Use correct muscle pressure – the pencil marks are neither too light or too dark
All letters formed correctly – without any reversals or change in direction
Apply grammar rules – using capital letters and full stops
Write using cursive (joined up) writing – write words without taking the pen off the paper
Use correct letter size – letters that are tall or go below the line can be clearly seen
Place spaces between words – has gaps between words that are not too large or too small
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 and does not say their hand hurts when writing
Uses one hand – has a preferred hand dominance
What happens in school at this age?
At school, the learning topics are varied and will help your child understand more about the world around them.
Children aged 6 to 7 years will be discovering the facts about key pioneers in history. They will also be learning about different countries, their traditions and sometimes even trying out the food. Discovering how Florence Nightingale influenced modern day nursing as well as become historical detectives by finding out about The Great War and The Great Plague. At this time in school, they will learn about buildings, their age and the materials used to build them. They will learn my personal favourite: about superheroes, as well as plant species and how we as humans grow.
In school, handwriting practice will often be 15 minutes a day
Often in Year 3 handwriting practice is daily. The timing of this can vary and some school timetables show this being an after lunch activity.
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?
At this age, we are wanting a child to look at the spaces between the words and the letters. Sometimes the space between letters can be large especially if a child is not using joined up writing.
In my experience, children at this age who find handwriting difficult are beginning to notice that other children find it easy. This can be very de-motivating. It is important to encourage and praise their work. Being successful at handwriting takes time and there is no reason why they cannot become good writers.
Here are 3 easy things that you can do at home:
1. Eye Spy with a difference - Placing spaces between words requires a child to have developed a visual perceptual skill called spatial relationships. You can help them notice spaces and shapes by playing 'Eye Spy'. Instead of saying the letter the object starts with, ask them to find a particular shape. E.g. search for a circle and find the wall clock or look for a square and find a window.
2. Use a handwriting worksheet - To encourage word spaces I ask children to complete different worksheets linked to themes they will have been learning at school. Here is an example of what I use. There is a worksheet about Guy Fawkes and a worksheet to create a social media profile for an astronaut.
3. Maze game puzzles - this will help your child learn how to control a pencil around a small space as well as teaching them motor planning skills.
*names changed for confidentiality