There is a general assumption that when a child starts school, he/she is ready to learn handwriting.
But did you know that there is a way to check readiness?
And did you know that there is a developmental sequence to handwriting?
If educators knew what to look out for before starting to teach this skill, it might help a child to attach more meaning and purpose to handwriting.
It looks just like this:
| _ O + / square \ X triangle
When you think about all of the letters (upper and lower case) and numbers, they are made using a combination of these strokes.
If a child can successfully draw these lines and shapes, he/she is ready to go! If not, we need to start teaching at the element in this sequence that they haven’t yet achieved.
The best thing to do is practice but also make it fun. Write the lines/shapes in a steamed up mirror, find sticks on a nature walk to form them, draw in the mud, use chalk on the ground, draw and then trace them on sand paper, use toy cars to “drive” along the line or shape using big movements, etc. Anything goes! By making the activity fun and multi sensory, the child will commit it to memory more easily.
There are many more important aspects of handwriting that we need to consider such as posture, pencil grasp, sequence, etc. but I will save those for future posts. Stay tuned!