Has parents evening given you an insight into your child’s handwriting?

Parents eveningParents evening

Parents evening plays a vital part in a child’s development, as they enable a parent to discover the areas where their child is struggling. Once a parent knows where their child is struggling, they can then begin providing extra support in these areas and support their child at home.

Have you recently attended your child’s parents evening and were told that your child is struggling with the skill of handwriting? If so, there are a number of activities that you can now carry out, in order to support your child and help them to master this skill.

Firstly, it is important that you know exactly where your child is struggling; are they struggling with joining letters, forming letters or distinguishing between different letters? You can find this out by getting in touch with your child’s teacher and discussing this with them at parents evening. Whilst discussing this, you will also want to ask for any information on the handwriting policy that the teacher is following.

Once this has been done, you can then start the ball rolling for your child to begin practising their writing at home. A great place to start is with getting your hands on some high quality resources for your child, such as handwriting workbooks. Our workbooks are an excellent resource, as they are not based on age, but are based on ability instead. This means that no matter your child’s age, our workbooks will help support and guide them through mastering the skill of handwriting.

After you have the relevant resources in place, an excellent idea is to go through the following checklist, to ensure that your child can make the most out of practising their handwriting at home:

Does your child have a quiet space where they can practise their handwriting?

There should be no distractions within the area where your child is practising, as this will enable your child to place full concentration on their writing.

Does your child have a clear and suitable working space?

It is important that your child has a desk/table and chair that will enable them to achieve the correct sitting and wrist position needed when writing. This will help to ensure that they are comfortable whilst practising their writing and eliminate this from becoming a distraction.

Does your child have the all of the equipment they need?

Once you have acquired high quality handwriting resources, it is also important that you ensure your child has all of the other equipment they require. Do they have plenty of pencils to use? Do they have an eraser to rub-out any mistakes? Along with these pieces of equipment, you may want to consider a pencil grip, if you or your child’s teacher has noticed your child struggling with their pencil grip. We recommend the Grotto Grip as it is very effective for correcting a poor pencil grip. All of our stockists sell these grips – see our stockist page on our website.

The final steps simply involve encouragement, timetables and great communication with your child’s teacher.

It is vital that you ensure you are providing a high level of encouragement to your child and that you are praising them on their handwriting achievements. This will help to build your child’s confidence with their writing and make the whole process of practising a much more enjoyable experience.

To ensure that your child’s experience when practising writing remains enjoyable, it is also important that you plan when they will practise and stick to the time that you have allotted. Short, regular and frequent periods of practice for 10 minutes are proven to be more effective for a child and will ensure that they do not become frustrated.

Finally, maintaining a good level of communication with your child’s teachers is also important both at parents evening and throughout the school year. If your child is struggling with the continuous cursive with an entry or lead in stroke, talk to the school. Evidence has proved that this method does not suit every child and the current National Curriculum does not require schools to teach this style of handwriting. (link to our documents:  Teaching fully cursive writing in Reception: a discussion document and Continuous Cursive: Cure or Curse.

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