Helping your child with handwriting can be a daunting task, so we have put together some at-home strategies that are sure to help.
Get to know the letters!
Ask your child’s teacher if a specific classroom program is used to teach handwriting and if you can get a copy of the phrases and prompts that are used in the classroom. This way, you can provide the same prompts at home when working with your child. Some teachers refer to letters’ sizes by calling them “tallies”, “smallies”, and “fallies”- make sure you speak the same code! The most commonly used program is Handwriting Without Tears.
Use an app:
The Wet Dry Try App is a wonderful tool because it teaches proper letter formation and provides an opportunity for your child to practise. This app mimics one of the key teaching methods in Handwriting Without Tears, in which a teacher models the correct letter formation on a chalkboard. The student then wipes the letter mimicking the formation, dries in the correct formation, before trying independently with chalk. We use this app all the time here at RRLS, but a dollar store chalkboard, chalk, and a small sponge is even more hands-on!
Start with your child’s name:
Chances are your child knows how to spell his or her name, so this is a great place to start. Use this to assess any areas of challenge. For example, do you see reversed letters, capitals in the middle of the name, or greatly varied letter size?
Don’t be afraid to get messy!
Here at RRLS we always have a fully stocked craft cupboard, with paint, glitter glue, bingo dabbers, and much more, that we use to practise writing with students. At home, you can do the same! Just set up an area where you child can get a little messy while working on handwriting. While developing fine motor skills, children may not be able to write as accurately with a pencil but can certainly work on forming the lines and shapes properly with a wide array of craft supplies in larger motions. From experience, we’ve found that everything is more exciting with glitter paint!
Do you have a fun handwriting activity or great tip to share? Leave it in the comments section below!
For other tips, suggestions, and support in maximizing your child’s academic potential over the summer, please contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space at 416.925.1225 or visit our website.