How to start a great handwriting skill

Kids with great handwriting sets them way up apart. It is no longer a common skill. In fact, It is becoming an endagered skill. After all we are in the age of computers.

But as someone passionate about learning, a beautiful handwriting is not only a form of art but a one of a kind skill that would make kids impressively different when they grow up.

Let me tell you why.

Did you receive a fully handwritten note last Christmas that says more than Merry Christmas? If you did, it must have contained a thank you note for those wonderful moments you did for someone else, or a prayer specifically for you, or a blessing in store for you for the coming year. Be honest! That melted your heart and made you feel special. You felt so special with that handwritten note that you didn’t even bother to read the “other” note that came stamped with the card, or probably completely forgot about the gift card that came with it.

In today’s age of emails and e-cards,  who would not want a carefully hand written note with a very beautiful handwriting. I thought it is the most beautiful gift someone could give to someone else.
We wanted to raise kids that could write beautiful notes to someone else. So that investing in our children’s hand writing skills is a must and I have found the best way to develop it.

1. Investing on a writing curriculum with a  booklet of writing paper. I’m not talking about a teacher’s guide that would tell how to form the letters. Those bores me. But more on the booklet that has one whole set of writing pad that is enough for one kid to use in the entire year.

I have a 7 year old and a 6 year old. Both girls. My oldest went to a regular school that did not use  any curriculum and or writing table for writing. She learned to write letters based on the type of line size that her teacher gave them. Result is a manuscript writing that has different sizes and different forms. Because everytime my daughter has to adjust to different line sizes when see writes dependending on the type of writing pad that her teacher gave her. Worst, it is not even a writing paper. It is one of those PDF formatted documents downloaded in the internet and printed for kids to write on.

Then I have a 6 year old that never went to regular school, and was homeschooled since kindergarten. I bought her the Abeka writing curriculum which comes with teaching instruction, a booklet of writing tablet with letter formation to write for each day, and a blank writing tablet so that she could practice extra letters she’s struggling with. She started with manuscript. I never gave her another writing paper but the writing tablet that came with Abeka. 

(Never give them another writing paper until after they have started writing sentences in very nice formation).

2. Let them write every single day until it becomes a habit. Practice makes it perfect. So everyday she needs to learn and practice to write the letters. Once she learned all of the letter formations, she started writing words and sentences.  I gave her at least one writing paper in her Abeka writing pad everyday with words already  pre-printed for her to copy. She does this everyday.

After she learned about letter formation, she is almost on her own. It became a habit for her, I didn’t have to tell her everyday about it. She knows where to get her writing tablet for the day and starts writing.  Since the size and the lines are always the same, her motor skills developed in such a way that she could write same font size even when she’s writing on a blank paper.

To test how much motor skill they have adopted, try giving them a blank coupon paper with no lines, and ask them to write a sentence. You should know if she needs more practice or not. Never mind if sentence starts to sloops down or up. Pay attention to the font size, spaces in between letters and words, and letter formation. It should be a clean and neat writing.

3. Teach manuscript first, then cursive. Writing in cursive is an ultimate writing success. Some young kids may get frustrated with introducing cursive first. Besides, I believe that young ones need to learn manuscript first just because most of the reading materials are printed that way. So their writing skills would not hinder their reading skills.

Kids are more encouraged to write if they could read what they are writing. Once they have mastered manuscript folowing steps 1 and 2, introducing them to cursive writing would be a breeze!

Remember steps 1 and 2? Use the same way when introducing cursive and use the same curriculum provider. Just to maintain that continuity in child’s brain. Familiarity keeps the child confident and forms a habit that is hard to break.

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