In my last article I mentioned the importance of proper positioning for body and the pencil. In this article we will begin by discussing the importance of slanting the paper to the right or the left. When writing, you will slant the paper to the opposite side of the hand with which you write. For example, right-handed writers will slant their papers towards the left, and left-handed writers will slant their papers to the right. This is more important when writing cursive as opposed to manuscript writing, because cursive handwriting slants.
You should always make sure that your child is completely familiar with the formation of a letter before they begin to attempt to write it. There are many manipulatives that may be used to help children understand the formation of letters and the correct way in which they are written. Many charts come equipped with arrows that show the correct direction that the pencil should flow to make the letter.
Don’t neglect to verbally instruct your child in the correct way to write. Begin with either posters, an overhead projector, or even desk strips that will help the child understand the correct way to write the letter. There are a number of electronic learning toys that can be purchased that will also help with handwriting, as well as many inexpensive charts and workbooks that provide plenty of handwriting practice.
Make sure that you verbally reward good penmanship with plenty of praise. Encourage your children and tell them that they are doing a great job. You will be amazed at how much verbal praise will inspire your child to do his or her best. One very effective way to introduce new letters to children is to have them “finger trace” the formation of the letter in the air. This is a great way since it doesn’t waste paper, and it also uses their visual and tactile sensory perception skills.
Donna Young’s Website offers Printable Worksheets, Cursive animations, you can find all of her wonderful resources here: Donna Young: Cursive and Manuscript Teaching Aids
Another fantastic site is called: Handwriting 4 Kids. It also offers animations and free printable worksheets.