Up Messy Handwriting
Today's Snack: Make a mess - on purpose - and have it turn out to be a
yummy snack. Stir together one container of peach chunks, drained, and one
container of peach yogurt. Mix in a spoonful or two of granola or your favorite
cereal. It'll look like an orange, gooey mess, but yummmm! Enjoy with a small
can of peach nectar.
lightweight golf pencils
practice paper from a school supply store
with tracing activities, dot-to-dots and mazes
paper, tracing paper
Nobody should get in trouble for
"messy" or "careless" handwriting in school. But poor letter formation and lots
of erasures and scratch-outs ARE a problem.
Parents and educators aren't just
being picky. They fear that a child with poor handwriting will also suffer from
poor reading comprehension. And that's a real possibility.
Why? Because a child with messy
handwriting often has a problem with letter recognition. If you don't "see" how
letters should be formed, you'll make mistakes in reading words as well
as writing them.
But you can
train yourself at home. Here's how:
1. Writing that's
legible - easy to read - is consistent. Each of these is the same, every
Letter and number formation
Shape, size, and slope (or
slant) of the letters
Spacing between letters, and
Positioning of the base of the
letters on the line
Positioning of the ascenders (as
in d, t and capitals) and descenders (bottom half of letters such as g and p) to
the right height or depth
Use crayon-length pencils that are more child-sized.
Long pencils are hard to control.
Try using short golf pencils, or break some standard-length ones in half.
Ask your parents to buy you a handwriting manual with illustrations to double-check your posture and pencil
grip, and some practice exercises you could do at home. Example: Handwriting Without Tears.
Get an inexpensive chart that shows the directions of the
strokes you should make in writing the
alphabet. Keep it in front of you as you practice.
Also ask them to get you lined practice paper, tracing paper, and fine-motor workbooks -- dot-to-dot books
and mazes -- at a school supply store.
Keep your at-home handwriting sessions short - 10 minutes a day. Keep at it! Stay patient!
Watch where the index finger is; for good control, it should rest where the paint starts, close
to the point.
Place your "helping hand" - the one
that just holds the paper while the other hand holds the pencil -- in the
proper position in the opposite upper corner.
Tilt the paper at the correct diagonal angle, or your neck, back, arm and hand might start to hurt.
If your papers look messy because you're pressing too hard and erasures smudge or tear the paper, practice writing with carbon
paper to adjust force.