Where do I begin practicing handwriting with my 10 year old son?
My 10 year old son has terrible printing and writing. His teacher suggests we practice at home, but I have no idea where to begin. To we start with printing? What letter first? Or should we go straight to cursive?
It would be helpful to think about what is causing the terrible printing: Is it trouble remembering the letter formations? At age 10 that is probably not the case. Have your son write all his upper and lower case letters with his eyes closed. Those he hesitates on need practice. If the letters look ok and actually may be better with his eyes closed than opened (less visual distractions), then you may need to look at his ability to spell, organize thoughts, capitalize, etc. At times when there is a weakness in these higher level thinking skills, the brain tends to prioritize on that and the motor (legibility) falls apart. There are 10 Handwriting Questions on lynslines.wordpress.com that could help you figure out which part of the whole writing process is contributing to his writing problem.
As far as print versus cursive, once the letter formations are ingrained in the motor memory, its hard to change them. So if he is comfortable with cursive, start there rather than trying to change poor printing habits. Computer use for long assignments may be an option.
I've joined this website just to share my traumas with my 10 year olds writing. For 3-4 years at his previous school I knew there was a problem but the teachers in the UK did not listen to me. Maybe it was the lack of resources I don't know. I had to sit during one parents evening being lectured over how my son didn't complete his poetry work on time and he snapped his pencil in anger and they said he had anger issues!! Now having moved to a new country and he has changed his school. In one term of him being there they had him screened by an OT. The OT has found 3 separate issues with him and we've had to pay for the sessions but his writing has improved no end and I feel now he has a better future. My feeling was to get my son with the joined up writing to help with spacing between words plus the writing flows easier than print and luckily the teacher and OT both agreed. Horribly, it's consistency that matters and just yesterday I found a website called writing wizard that allows you to print out practice sheets and to write over words and for your son to try the words or sentences himself. You can also type out what sentences you think might he might like so my son is mad on mine craft. We are also practicing lower letters p, q, g and higher letters b, d, l. Good luck with it all and also playing with play dough for 10 minutes a day apparently helps with strengthening the fingers for fine motor skill so that also might be worth a go