TIPS FOR LEARNING TO WRITE


You only want the best for your kids. But what is the best, when it comes to teaching handwriting? Where is the line between encouragement and pressure? How can you help a child to relax? Here are some top tips and information about what parents and teachers can do to help and some things to avoid.

CREATING THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT

Pay attention to ideal desk and chair heights and adjust them at regular intervals, as children grow quickly!

richtige Körperhaltung beim Schreiben

A correct sitting posture is essential when learning to write. Practice sitting upright with a straight back with your child, ideally they will sit upright behind their desk with relaxed shoulders. Desk and chair heights should be adjusted so that feet lay completely flat on the ground. The free arm should rest at a 90° angle and lay relaxed on the table and the elbows should not be raised.

 

Another thing to look for is the correct paper positioning as this is important for relaxed writing. The page must not lie completely straight. For a right-handed person the paper should rotate to about 30 degrees counter clockwise, and for a left-handed person try rotating the page 45 degrees clockwise.

Even before learning to write, children’s fine and gross motor skills need to be up to scratch! These essential skills can be trained through simple games. 

 

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN FIRST COLORING AND WRITING

  • drei-Punkt-Griff beim Schreiben und MalenChildren often push too hard or hold the pen incorrectly when they first begin to draw and write. Practice the recommended tripod grip with your child. It’s better to start this very early on as bad habits can be difficult to break.
  • To prevent cramping in the hand, practice relaxation exercises. 
  • The process of learning to write can be reinforced with sounds and pictures, so children can have a letter with a picture of an object or animal to associate with.
  • Praise your new writer’s efforts, now is the time to over-look the mistakes.
  • Take children’s questions about the world of reading and writing seriously, and give them patient advice.
  • Take the child’s questions about the world of reading and writing seriously, and give them patient advice.

 

WHEN TO USE WHICH PEN

  • Essentially, since the hand has not yet fully developed motor skills -as it almost always is with children- a pencil that is thicker than a regular, adult pen is recommended. A triangular pen or thick mechanical pencil is even better.

 

  • In addition it is wise to select a pen that offers a good grip without slippage. It is recommended to find one that has a  grip which is appropriate for the hand size and hand dominance of the user and rubbered in a good way.

 

  • Furthermore, a robust, shatterproof lead should be used.

 

  • Use a pen that gives good tactile and audible feedback, so that writing can be heard and felt. This is helpful for when visual inspection becomes more difficult due to continuously rising writing speeds.

 

  • After the pencil, it is recommended to move to an ergonomic rollerball pen for writing in ink and not to go directly to a fountain pen. The rollerball pen is very similar to a pencil as it is not pressure sensitive, it can write evenly at a wide range of angles, and is  significantly less prone to smear than a fountain pen. This is especially important when left-handedness is a factor. Children are however, allowed to gain experience with ink, which requires much more control and concentration than a pencil, but significantly less than a fountain pen.

 

  • The fountain pen is quite a difficult tool to master and can overwhelm a child if it is introduced too early. The fountain pen only works in a specific pressure range (too little, and it does not write; too much pressure delivers too much ink, causing blotches), can be damaged by excessive pressure, and generally writes in a smaller range of angles. Children must, therefore, constantly pay attention to how they are writing. This means that they cannot focus on the content.

 

  • After children have learned the necessary foundations of handwriting (i.e. letter shapes and sizes, pace, and can vary pressure), and have developed an automatic understanding , the foundation has been set to differentiate and individualise their own writing style. At this point, the use of a fountain pen when writing makes sense.

 

  • Through this “smooth transition” from pencil, to rollerball,  to fountain pen, children are challenged, but not overwhelmed, and the formation of a fast, highly legible script is supported.

 

  • After the child has learned the necessary foundations (i.e. letter shapes and sizes, pace, and can vary pressure), and has developed an automated motorized program for writing, the foundation has been laid to to differentiate and individualize their own writing. At this point, the use of a fountain when writing makes sense.

 

  • This “smooth transition” from the pencil to ballpoint to fountain pen, the children are challenged, but not overwhelmed, and the formation of a fast, highly legible script is supported.

 

WHAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED

When a child learns to write, their confidence can be easily knocked. To prevent this discouragement, here are some things educators should avoid when teaching handwriting:

  • When you notice that a child is left handed, do not prevent this in any way. Support their hand dominance.

 

  • Of course you want your child to progress well and quickly, but do not over-extend them with excessive demands.

 

  • Do not ignore the emerging questions of your child, such as “What does it say,” or “What letter is this?” An informative response contributes to the learning process.

 

  • Do not assign difficult tasks to your children, but rather give them achievable goals in order to avoid discouraging their early writing experience.

 

  • Do not praise every little thing, but rather praise your child’s general effort.

 

  • Do not alienate young writers by focusing on spelling mistakes.

 

  • Do not praise every little thing, but rather praise your children’s general effort.

 

  • Do not alienate young writers by focusing on spelling mistakes.

 

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