Handwriting help for 10 year old
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  1. #1
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    Feb 2009
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    Default Handwriting help for 10 year old

    A friend has asked me for advice, but I don't have any answers!

    Her daughter is 10 years old has has very poor handwriting. The letters aren't well formed, she can't join letters, she mixes lowercase and uppercase and it's very messy. Do you have any ideas about how mum can help her improve her handwriting?

  2. #2
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    Oct 2008
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    goodness, I don't particularly .... I would maybe message Floradora!

    I would possibly suggest some finger gym activities .... pegs, playdough, threading, Hama beads etc to build up the muscles in the hand/fingers.

    then maybe some whiteboard type sheets and whiteboard pen ... with patterns to follow likes waves, curves etc ... like you would do with a younger child ... maybe finer liners and finer pen?

    colouring in with pictures that have lots of detail?

    then maybe tracing over words, practicing lower case and upper case alphabet, .. maybe copying out favourite song lyrics to make a poster?

    You can get handwriting paper that has 3 lines per line ( you can find it online to print out at home ) so you have guides for size/parts of letters.

    another thought .... could she try looking for a font/style of writing she likes, and copy that? ( sort of like calligraphy but not quite ) when I was at high school, I was fascinated by the letter a being like it is in books etc, yet when we learn to write, we write it without the 'hat' on. I started adding the 'hat' and other little 'additions' to my writing, and now I really struggle not to write 'a' without a hat ( which is not brilliant for early years !!!! )

    but to be honest, I didn't get the hang of joining letters till I was at high school, and when I look at DDs writing ... she WAS doing joined up writing in yrs 4/5/6, pretty much as soon as she went to high school, she stopped, and now in yr 10 her writing is hardly joined up at all! ( and having just looked at all her recent birthday cards ... neither is most of her friends! )

    I also wondered if maybe this 10 yr old has dysgraphia? sort of like dyslexia, but writing, not reading? It can mean that the person with it struggles with spelling, handwriting and actually being able to put down on paper what they want to.

    good luck to your friend xx

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Have the school said anything?

    Is the problem just handwriting or is it fine motor skills in general? Is it literacy skills in general? I think it is important to know that. How is her pencil grip?

    If it is just handwriting then practise and constructive, specific feedback will help.

    Mum needs to know wh font the school is using and stick to that. Mum needs to know exactly how each letter is formed. Then, I have always found the best way is to focus on one letter at a time - but to teach them in groups according to how they are formed. If school is using cursive, then I always start with the letters in this order - c, o, a, g, q, d. (All anti-clockwise letters in this group.) All letters begin on the line with the entry stroke - so it is important to have lined paper. You can buy handwriting books cheaply online - the ones that have the three lines which will help her with the size of the letters. School could perhaps provide her with one. I'm sure you can find the order of the letters online somewhere once mum knows the script - or just email the teacher and they should be able to tell her. When she has mastered each of those letters (won't happen overnight) she can move onto the next group of letters. She should concentrate on forming letters in isolation before worrying about joining them.

    I would also want to do a few simple letter sorting activities too to see if she actually knows which letters are capitals and which are lower case. Does she consistently use the same letters as capitals when they should be lower case?



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