Before reading this article, write down your response to the following question: “Which is your favourite colour?”
This may have appeared to be a mindless and routine activity, but your mind and body had to work together to execute several steps in the correct order. Picking up a pen or pencil, holding it steady, remembering what colour you wanted to use as an answer, thinking about what letters appear in the word and in what order, moving your hand and wrist in the right way to shape the letters, following what you wrote with your eyes, and applying the proper amount of pressure to the paper were all things you had to do.
How Children learn to Write?
Writing is one of the most complicated acts that people engage in, requiring motor and critical-thinking skills, although we perform it every day. It should come as no surprise that learning to write is a lengthy process, and it also happens sequentially, with each talent building on the last.
Children are aware of writing, like reading from an early age, especially if they are exposed to it on a regular basis. Your child begins to understand the meaning of written words at a young age by being read to and watching you write.
It’ll only be a matter of time before children try to make their own words. All youngsters begin writing by scribbling, which is a fun activity for most toddlers.
They need to use coordination to keep the paper still, hold the crayon, and apply enough pressure to draw a mark on the paper in order to complete the task.
With time and practice, they’ll understand that they can not only draw random lines to create a pattern, but they can also construct the pattern again by repeating the same actions.
Around the age of three or four, children may begin to try writing, and letters may appear amid the scribbles. You might observe, for example, that your child writes all of the letters individually in different places or the piece of paper in apparently random order. Because children learn to write individual letters before putting them together to make words, this is the case.
Children begin to grasp how to group letters into words as they continue to read and learn how words work. Most children learn to put letters together to form words between kindergarten and first grade, and they will use these words to label drawings they draw. Children normally exclusively use capital letters at this age and do not utilise spaces between words. They’ll also employ “created spelling,” which means they’ll write words without vowels (for example, BBYDLL for baby doll).
Children eventually learn what is known as the norms of print — The difference between lower and upper case letters, writing from left to right, using accurate spelling in most cases, and putting spaces between words through practice and formal instruction.
Handwriting gets smaller and neater as children grow older and develop fine motor control. Children learn to write in cursive between the second and fourth grades and will automatically use handwriting rules.
Why handwriting is Important?
Children must learn to write by hand even as we progress toward a keyboard-driven society. Handwriting is more than just scribbling letters on a page; it’s an important aspect of learning to read and communicate. Experts believe that improving writing skills strengthens reading skills and vice versa.
To read, a child must first comprehend that letters represent sounds and that these sounds are combined to form words. Learning to write letters is a crucial component of this knowledge.
Preschoolers who begin replicating the letters they see around them demonstrate that they comprehend the relationship between the words they see on the page and their sounds. Kindergarteners practise writing words the way they sound when they use “invented” spelling, which helps them learn to read. First-graders explore with language and share their tales with others around them when they use words to make a poem or write about an experience.
As children get older and begin to use a keyboard, the motor control and communication skills they’ve developed via handwriting will help them become better writers because they’ll be able to put their thoughts into words.
Handwriting is particularly significant since, in kindergarten, students are forced to use it daily in school. Children who suffer from handwriting mechanics may have difficulty taking notes, taking tests, or finishing their coursework. This might have a negative impact on their self-esteem and attitude toward school
Encouraging handwriting in Children
Giving children opportunities to practise is a crucial component of helping them build early reading skills. Allow your child to try with fat, chunky crayons or markers and a large sheet of paper as soon as they are old enough to scribble (as early as one year old for some children). Create a separate art centre for your child as they get older, with plenty of paper (you can bring scrap paper home from work or save junk mail) and a variety of painting equipment such as paint and brushes, crayons, markers, crayons, and coloured pencils etc.
Provide sidewalk chalk or a pail of water and a brush to “paint” on the pavement to inspire your youngster to practise writing and drawing while you’re outside. The more experience children have with their hands in this manner, the more fine motor skills and coordination they’ll develop for letter formation.
Continue to discover opportunities to practice writing at home as your child joins the school and begins to write there. Writing letters and thank-you cards to friends and family is a good idea. Inquire about assistance with writing a list or a recipe. Purchase a journal notebook and encourage your youngster to spend time writing in it at the end of each day.
If your child’s handwriting remains untidy and difficult to understand despite official school teaching, try the following suggestions:
• Encourage your child to take it slowly. Many children struggle with writing because they attempt to do it as quickly as possible. Please encourage your child to spend their time carefully forming the letters.
• Emphasize that mistakes are inevitable. Make sure your child understands how to use an eraser.
• Remind students of proper letter formation. Determine how your child should form letters from their teacher, and then encourage your child to practice writing following those patterns. It can be beneficial to use lined paper.
• Make sure the pencil is in the right place. In the ideal situation, your child will employ a tripod grip. This means the pencil should be held in place with the thumb, index, and middle fingers near the base of the thumb. If your youngster has difficulties holding a pencil properly, office supply companies sell plastic pencil grips.
• Make sure your child hears a lot of words. You can do this by reading aloud to your child on a regular basis, pointing out words in your environment (such as street signs or product labels), and displaying examples of your child’s writing throughout the house.
Signs of Handwriting Problems
Children grow at different rates, and their handwriting differs widely from adults. Some children fail to understand which way the letters should be written, while others struggle to write neatly or in cursive.
Writing difficulties can sometimes indicate additional problems, such as learning disabilities and developmental delays. These issues frequently have several symptoms, with writing being just one of them.
Following situations can affect a child’s writing ability:
• Language problems that cause difficulty with word pronunciation, spelling, and sentence structure
• Memory problems that prevent a child from remembering spelling, grammar, or punctuation rules
• Visual or sequential ordering problems that cause the uneven spacing of words and the inability to make lists or put ideas in order
• Children with specific disabilities may also struggle to learn to write (E.g. ADHD).
The following are indicators that a child may require further support in learning to write:
• An uncomfortable pencil grip
• Illegible handwriting
• Difficulties forming letters
• An inability to concentrate and complete writing assignments
• Avoiding writing
• Multiple misspelt words
• Letters or words that are not in the correct order
• Wrong word placement on the page
• Uneven letter spacing
• Having difficult and slow time writing.
• A significant gap between spoken language and writing abilities
• A painfully slow and difficult writing process
If your child has trouble writing, you may consider having them evaluated by an occupational therapist. This will help you assess whether your child requires formal counselling and tutoring or more writing practice at home.
Learning to read and write is essential for academic and personal success. When you write with your child, whether to build a book together or spend time on the weekend penning letters to Grandma, you’re helping him, or her acquire crucial abilities.