Why teach penmanship?
  • Legible and neat handwriting 
  • Essential communication tool - adds personal touch to writing
  • boost to self - esteem
  • Enables independent writing - even if computer crashes
  • Fundamental building block of learning 
  • Handwriting is important because research shows that when children aretaught how to do it, they are also being taught how to learn and how to express themselves. A new study to be released by Vanderbilt University professor Steve Graham finds that a majority of primary school teachers believe that students with fluent handwriting produced written assignments that were superior in quantity and quality and resulted in higher grades aside from being easier to read. 
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How to hold a pencil?
Holding a pencil properly can be difficult for a child who does not yet have enough strength in his or her hands and fingers. Use fine motor skill activities to help strenghten your child's hand and fingers on a daily basis.
In order for any child to write meaningfully, he or she must first build up their fine motor skills. Art projects, working with play dough, measuring and pouring sand and water, and practicing writing are excellent ways to improve fine motor skills. 
Here are great resources for teachers or parents on excellent ways to improve fine motor skills.

The stages of grip development.

Holding pencil correctly

Prewriting activities
  • Tracing around templates of increasing complexity

  • Dot-to-dot games and races

  •  Playing ‘boxes’ with variable distances between dots to be joined

  • Pencil mazes of narrowing widths and increasing directional changes

  • Perform Smooth Movement Activities & Scribble Patterns – 

Encourage a sliding action across the page from left to right.

Draw these figures with minimal wrist movement, i.e. stable wrist and mobile fingers. Incorporate clockwise and anti-clockwise movements.

For developing fluidity and establishing cursive skills, trace then draw the following designs. Vary size and complexity of designs until they can be produced automatically & fluently. 


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