Handwriting isn’t just about putting your pen onto paper. It’s also a form of multi-tasking. The act of writing is a complicated process that requires hand-eye coordination. Each and every one of us has a distinct pattern of handwriting. Each individual writes with a unique penmanship style. As young children grow, they start to develop their fine motor skills, which serve as the foundation for handwriting.
The pace of each child’s developmental milestones will vary. Some children develop certain skills more quickly or slowly than their peers. Handwriting skills, for instance, require the child to use both their cognitive and fine motor skills in concert with each other in order to be able to deliver successfully
Many parents and teachers will brainstorm and strategize ways to help children as they develop their handwriting skills. The approach may actually vary depending on what type of learner your child is. It is crucial for parents and teachers to understand that some approaches may not be as effective as others, depending on the child. Because handwriting is a required skill for learning, it is best to keep track of your child’s developmental progression on handwriting skills.
Handwriting, just like any other skill, requires practice. Considering that this is something that children learn from scratch, it will require a lot of patience and creativity from adults in order to keep little ones interested and engaged as they learn and continue to improve. Also, since handwriting is very detail-oriented and requires precision, one technique you can use to help your child learn to write is spaced repetition. This theory incorporates the child’s memory. Spaced repetition is a strategy that works wonders and even spans to other areas of learning and memorization. For example, if you’re trying to memorize someone’s phone number, you’ll say it over and over again repeatedly, until you memorize it. It sounds like a simple concept, right?
All that being said, here are a few great tips that are beneficial for young children as you help them hone their handwriting skills:
Identify your child’s learning style
Before you determine which approach will be best, It is crucial that you assess your child’s learning style. Since each and every child is unique in their own way, it’s important for young children to be able to learn based on which type of learning best works for them.
Prepare fun, and engaging activities and materials
What better way is there to learn than incorporating fun and play into a lesson! This strategy is most effective because it will help to capture and more importantly keep your child’s attention. The more fun they are having, the more they will enjoy the learning process.
Encourage your child and build self-confidence
When children are in the process of learning and improving at anything, words of encouragement mean the world to them. Along with words, you can also add gestures of appreciation as well. A simple high-five, together with an energetic “Great job!” should do the trick. Not only will your little one be inspired, he or she will naturally feel more confident to continue learning as well.
Nothing beats 100% confidence. When trying to teach your child something new, no matter what, the first thing you should build aside from mastery, is confidence. When they feel confident, it reaffirms that what they are doing is correct, and they receive recognition or a reward for doing it right. Just be sure to allow for mistakes, and remember not to be too hard on them. Part of building a good foundation of self-confidence is children’s sense of pride and assurance about what they can do. Another important factor is self-esteem, which helps us cope with mistakes, and also helps us redeeming ourselves if we’re not able to produce what is expected.
Practice makes perfect
Handwriting can be a very tricky skill. Again, it requires your child to multitask. Every letter or number has its own precise shape, size, and each individual his or her own distinct way of writing or drawing them. As mentioned earlier, the best approach to helping your child achieve successful penmanship is to practice and do drills repeatedly. It’s a foolproof memorization technique!
Why praise when you can affirm?
Since we want to help our children improve their handwriting skills, it’s also important to remember what we give them back, since we know they are trying their best! Remember, whenever you observe any amount of effort from your child, especially when they’re going through a learning process, always be generous with affirmations. Yup, affirmations, not just praise. These go a long way! Make it a habit to give your child a pep talk after each learning session to check where they’re at in terms of confidence and drive for improvement. Again, a little appreciation and powerful words go a long way!
For everyone, learning presents a different challenge, and improving on a set of skills is another. But either way, it all boils down to finding your own rhythm and figuring out what’s best for you and your child.
For more helpful and effective tips for your child’s skills development, visit us at ABC Academy.