What can we do at home to help improve our first grader's hand writing?
My grand daughter is in the 1st grade and she is having difficult in writing. She runs her words together, so her writing looks like one continuous word. She randomly capializes letters too. SHe does her homework on the typical lined 1st grade paper with examples of the words that she is to trace, copy and the write from memory. SHe does not keep theletter between the lines most of the time. I know that hse is just learning, but her teacher seems to think that she is having an unusal amount of difficult with it. Any sssuggestion what we can do at home to help her?
If your granddaughter is having difficulty making letters small enough on her first grade lined paper, she may be experiencing fine-muscle control difficulty. You could ask her to be assessed by an occupational therapist, to see if her fine-motor control is developing at an expected rate. The occupational therapist would give you exercises and suggestions that would develop your granddaughter's skills in this area.
At home, you could have her make things with play dough, use scissors, work with puzzles, and do anything else that will develop the muscles in her hands.
To help her learn letter shapes, she could trace them in sand. Or, you could make a small box containing corn meal, and she could practice making her letters smaller and smaller, before she tries them on paper.
I know that she's just beginning to learn to spell words. However, you could play a silly game with her by reading her words all joined together in one breath. For example, if she wrote: IliketoplayIlikemycat, you could read it like she wrote it. Then you could talk about how we leave a space between each word so that we can pause. And we leave a space between sentences so that we can take a breath. As she learns the boundaries of words on paper, she'll be able to read her own work in a natural, correct way. She'll know that what she's printed is exactly how she wants it to be read (and said).
I would mostly not worry. She's only in first grade so it's probably just developmental. I would continue with a standard program. Maybe, if her fine muscle control is frustrating her, supplement it with some online lessons that would help.
My current favorite site - http://www.SpellingCity.com - can help you build all these skills. They even have tracable worksheets for the writing problem
Children need to be taught where to place the letters between the lines. Has your grand daughter been adequately taught?
You may want to highlight the lines so there is more of a contrast between the lines and the background paper. Have your granddaughter place her finger, a popsicle stick or a commercially available spacer at the end of the word. She will write on the other side of the spacer or finger. This will help her visibily judge the distance in between words.
Try different paper to see if she writes better. She may need larger or spaces between lines even though she is in first grade. Last but not least has she had her eyes checked to see if she is seeing clearly and tracking with both eyes together? Does this spacing issue also affect her math work?