Category: Handwriting Development

Occupational Therapy Handwriting Homework.  Yes or No?

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I have a folder on my computer for OT home programmes.  It is overflowing with written programmes and guides for the countless numbers of children I have seen over the years.  Going through it is a little like a trip down memory lane.  I wonder how those children are doing now, and if their handwriting… Read more »

Sitting Posture and Handwriting for Kids

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We hear a lot about the importance of sitting posture and handwriting for kids.  But do we know the difference it can make?  Did you know that simply by improving seating position you can immediately improve the quality of your child’s written work?  And did you know that by allowing your child to be poorly… Read more »

My Child Hates Handwriting: 4 Reasons Why.

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Some children just hate handwriting.  End of story.  They resist it, they hurry to get it done and it becomes a huge emotional hurdle.  Our challenge is to understand why children are hating it, and find ways to overcome it.  Handwriting is a critical foundation skill for story writing and composition, which are one of… Read more »

The Benefits of Cursive Handwriting: It Saves the Day!

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Cursive handwriting seems to bring out diametrically opposed opinions.  People either love it, or hate it.  The cursive lovers speak only of the pros of cursive, while the haters speak only of the disadvantages.  I come from the place of looking at what cursive handwriting can offer us.  I am clear about the benefits of… Read more »

Automaticity in Handwriting. WHAT to write not HOW to write.

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Automaticity in handwriting is the ability to automatically recall letter formation patterns so your child can think about WHAT to write, not HOW to write.  Handwriting automaticity is not something we hear about as often as pencil grip or fine motor skills; but it is a critical aspect of handwriting acquisition which cannot, and must… Read more »

Teaching Correct Number Formation: Implications for Maths.

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When it comes to handwriting, we always talk about children needing to have automatic handwriting so they can think about WHAT to write, not HOW to write.  And that holds true so much more for maths.  Automaticity in number formation is essential for achievement in maths, making teaching correct number formation a critical foundation skill… Read more »

Writing on the Lines: Should Kids Write on Lines?

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Like so many aspects of handwriting, the writing lines vs no writing lines debate is as passionate and diverse as there are people discussing it.  Should our focus be writing on the lines, or should our children work on blank paper and within wide writing lines? The South African CAPS Handwriting Curriculum advocates that children… Read more »

How to Teach my Child to Write their Name

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There is no hard and fast rule as to when a child should write their name.  But usually by Grade 00 your child’s peers are starting to write their names on their art work, and that can either light the spark, or can even put them under pressure to feel like they should be able… Read more »

Dysgraphia or Disorder in Written Expression: Typing Accommodations

While we promote handwriting and its benefits from improved story writing and composition, to aiding with memory and recall; there are times when handwriting has gone really wrong.  Some children have Dysgraphia or Disorder in Written Expression, and no amount of handwriting intervention has been able to assist them with achieving fluid and legible handwriting…. Read more »

Does Pencil Grip Matter for Handwriting?

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Once your child is in preschool, the words “pencil grip” suddenly seem to be important.  Does pencil grip matter?  Is it important how children hold their pencils, and can this really impact their future schooling? The dynamic tripod pencil grip is the gold standard for pencil grips.  With this grip, your child will hold their… Read more »

Does Occupational Therapy Help with Handwriting?

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By the time our children enter Grade 1, they have usually learned to write their names, and may be able to write letters and numbers.  The more advanced amongst them will even be able to write words and sentences.  But for the most part, handwriting is the domain of the Grade 1 classroom.  Our teachers… Read more »

Pencil Control for Handwriting. How to Improve it.

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I always say they should have called it finger writing not handwriting.  Because it is the finger and thumb movements that facilitate pencil control for handwriting.  It is the discrete refined finger movements, isolated from the hand movements, that are necessary for speed and quality of handwriting.  Of course, finger movements don’t stand alone.  They… Read more »

What is Midline Crossing: 5 Ways it Affects Handwriting

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Everyone talks about midline crossing like we should inherently know what it is.  They use the term in a throw away manner like they are talking about skipping or bike riding – something that everyone should just automatically know about.  So what is midline crossing?  Midline crossing is the ability to cross the imaginary midline… Read more »

Teaching Left Handers to Write. Left Handed Development.

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When our babies begin exploring they tend to use both hands, or randomly use either the left or right hand.  Hand preference may begin to emerge as early as 2 or 3 years of age, while for others, this may only happen around the age of 5 or 6.  So, you may notice early on… Read more »

Why a Multi-Sensory Approach to Writing and Handwriting Curriculum?

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Multi-sensory is defined by the Collins English Dictionary as “involving or using more than one of the senses.”  So, what is the big deal about this when it comes to a multi-sensory approach to writing? A multisensory handwriting programme is a must! Over time we have learned that using sensory input, such as touch or… Read more »

Letter Formation Order: Does it Matter?

There are as many ways to teach letter formation as there are teachers.  Each teacher draws on her experience and applies it into her classroom to give the children in her class the best chance of achieving success.  However, we are also able to draw on the developmental progression of acquisition of the foundational lines,… Read more »

Handwriting Development: The Perceptual-Motor Foundations

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If your child is struggling with poor handwriting and is referred for an occupational therapy handwriting assessment, the outcome of the assessment can show very diverse difficulties.  This is because the perceptual-motor foundations of handwriting are numerous and complex.  Let’s look at The Wall®, an occupational therapy framework for explaining learning difficulties in children, and… Read more »