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Exceptional Handwriting at 5 or 6


Parents who have encouraged their young child to spend a lot of time with paper and pencil in preschool may be rewarded with super writing skills by the time the child is finishing kindergarten.


As soon as your child can hold a pencil (a small one such as a golf pencil is best), encourage your child to draw and scribble. This is the best way to develop fine motor skills. Don't force it, of course, but certainly encourage drawing and coloring as much as you can.


Gradually, you should see more detail in the drawings: instead of stick figures, there will be facial features, fingers, shoes and clothing. This is helpful as the child begins to discern details in the differences between the alphabet letters. The more details the child "sees," the more easily he or she will be able to memorize how to write each letter, and write words quickly and accurately.


When the child starts to try to write letters, purchase a wall chart or desk chart from a school supply store that shows how to form the letters with arrows designating the direction of the strokes and when to lift the pencil. Some educators think it's fine to have the kids master the capital letters first, but others think it's important to teach kids from the start to write both capitals and lower-case letters.


Remember: handwriting strokes are always top to bottom, left to right, and counter-clockwise on curves and circles.


Here are some skills of excellent handwriting that a child should ideally display in kindergarten:


Prints the entire alphabet, upper and lower case, correctly

Prints from left to right and from top to bottom

Uses upper and lower cases in casual writing, such as captions under pictures

Letters are evenly spaced

Lines are followed

Prints first and last name correctly

Writes the number of his or her age correctly

Spells almost all familiar words correctly



By Susan Darst Williams Grammar Granny 030 2006


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