Handwriting is writing on a surface using an instrument, such as a pen or pencil in your hand. Handwriting consists of two types - printing and cursive. Most children are taught how to write in cursive in their first years of school. The interesting thing about handwriting is that every person’s handwriting is unique. The biggest influences are the cultural environment and the first language a person learns as a child.
Learning how to write is a big milestone in any child's life. Because of this many parents often wonder when the right time to start teaching them is. Unfortunately there isn’t a clear answer to this question. Handwriting is a complex process that involves multiple building blocks that need to be in place beforehand.
Usually kids of ages as early as 3-4 start trying to scribble things on pieces of paper. At this stage children are getting used to holding pens or pencils so their grasp still isn’t great, but they’ll start learning how to draw some lines and shapes.
By the ages 5-6, when children are in kindergarten they can already write some letters and numbers as well as draw, to an extent, certain objects and shapes.
The next phase, also referred to as the “early elementary” phase is between the ages of 6 and 8. This is around the age where most children start going to school and when they start spelling actual words and phrases. By the end of grade 2, most students are able to write answers to simple questions and short paragraphs.
This is another common question that many parents ask. The first thing they need to remember is that every child is different. In these early stages of development there are so many things changing daily for your child, so it’s crucial to be patient with them.
For most children, handwriting starts with drawing. Long before they attempt to write letters and words, kids start scribbling and drawing with pens and pencils. If your child enjoys drawing, this is a great starting point for handwriting, as it gives them much needed practice in how to hold and use a pencil. You can encourage your child to draw by doing it alongside them. Let them watch you draw and chances are that after a while they’ll try to copy what you’re doing.
When it comes to actual writing, there are plenty of resources you can use to help your child. Notebooks where they can practice each letter are great for beginners. Worksheets with dotted lines that kids can follow are a great way for them to learn how each letter is written. Regardless of which materials you choose, it’s important to motivate them to practice regularly.
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