From vague scribbles to clear cursive handwriting, you can help your child learn to write. When my children started putting pen to paper, they loved helping me write out shopping lists – they knew exactly what their words said even if I didn’t!
As with most things, children will learn to write when they are ready. Initially their writing may just look like faint squiggles and scribbles, and have little resemblance to the alphabet, but in time it will develop.
When children start writing, they are usually copying the adults around them, so letting them watch you writing – even if it is just shopping lists – is a great start.
Magnetic letters on the fridge are great for becoming familiar with the alphabet and helping spelling. Make sure you always have writing materials available – lots of scrap paper is essential, you will most probably get through reams!
When they’re at school
If your child has started school or is about to, find out if they have a particular handwriting style that they use, it may be less confusing to stick to that one style when showing your child how to form letters. But it is the actual process of forming the letters (rather than which K is being used) that is important – where to begin the letter, when to lift the pencil off the paper etc. Tracing and dot to dot activities are fun ways to help your child develop the co-ordination, fine motor skills and pencil control needed for writing.
Usually schools prefer children to use lower case before capitals but realistically given that almost all signs around us are in capitals, children often automatically use them first – don’t stress about it, after all they need to learn the capital letters too!
However you start teaching your child to write, it is essential that you keep it fun, it should never become a chore for either of you. Let your child guide you. Happy scribbling!