Handwriting – First Things First

Handwriting from the Feet UpToday, in honor of National Handwriting Day, we are sharing a post about handwriting from Jennifer who blogs at A Glimpse of Our Life.

 

As an Occupational Therapist, before working on handwriting, it is important to be sure that a child has the skills needed to set the right foundation for writing. As a parent, being sure your child has these skills is equally important. Posture, grasp, strength, range of motion, and visual skills are all components that can affect the final outcome of pencil on paper. Today, I’ll share how a homeschool parent can be aware of needs their child may have for proper posture as well as how to improve it.

Is Their Posture Right?

Unless you do “school at home” it is likely that your child is not completing most of their homeschool lessons seated in a child sized desk. Assuming you follow the trend of school at the dining room table, take a step back and really look at your child sitting in that big dining room chair. Can their feet touch the floor? If not, that may not be the only thing that does not fit, and either modifications or a change of location could make a big difference in their written work.

An ideal sitting posture allows the hips and knees to be bent at 90 degrees with feet flat on the floor. Most adult chairs are too big for small children to do this easily. If they can reach the table comfortably, just adding a footstool to give them a bit more stability may be all that is needed. Now take another peek at how they are sitting. Is there room for them to comfortably reach their paper, or do they have to stretch? A booster seat in their chair may be necessary to lift them up to a comfortable height at your table. Another option is finding a child sized table and chair that fits them now. If they are overcompensating to support themselves in a chair that is too large, they are not able to relax and concentrate on the actual written task.

Age Appropriate Exercises Can Promote Strong Core Muscles

Beyond their position in the chair, age appropriate exercises can promote strong core muscles which will also help their balance and posture. For a change of pace to your written tasks, drawing with window markers on a mirror or window at their shoulder level and higher can work on several of these skills at once while they are enjoying the novelty of the task.

I hope these ideas help to get you thinking in the right direction.  Each month, I plan to share more Handwriting tips!

Disclaimer: This is an informational article and is not a substitute for medical advice. If you think your child is in need of OT services, discuss it with their pediatrician.

Affiliate links are included in this post.

 

Jennifer is an occupational therapist and a homeschooling mom of three children. She and her husband have been married for 17 years. Ten years ago they left their home in the city, to move to Jennifer’s family homestead, on her Granddad’s land.   They have three children, two girls and one boy, ages 16, 14, and 9.   You can read more about Jennifer and her family on her blog, A Glimpse of Our Life.

Comments

  1. My kids also love to write on the chalkboard. They’d prefer this to paper anyday!

  2. Love the window marker idea!!! We will be using that! Thanks for the tip!

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