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abauti26
abauti26 asks:
Q:

I am having trouble teaching my child to write. Motor skills don't seem so good..what can I do?

In Topics: My child's growth and development
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Apr 16, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

You did not mention your child's age.  Writing skills vary by age, teaching method, and often sex--meaning girls are sometimes better in the beginning.  If you have a concern for overall motor skills and tone, I would ask that question to your medical home or your child's pediatrician.  A good exam might be helpful. Good for you for initiating the instruction and be sure to get your question answered.

Wayne A. Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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Additional Answers (5)

bob
bob , Parent writes:
First off, I believe (from personal experience) that some people just struggle with writing - the motor skills part - and it's not indication of laziness or lack of intelligence.  This runs in my family, in fact.  It's a form of dysgraphia and there are articles on education.com about it.  The frustration of dealing with it can run deep for both child and parent.

This is just one opinion, but what I did with my kids is, literally, take things apart.  In my line of business, I usually have access to old broken down computer hard disks and CD-ROM drives.  We would use screwdrivers and torx drivers and take them apart together.  The kids were more interested in this than in practicing writing, and if fine motor skill is what you are trying to develop, small screwdrivers and pliers strike me as effective tools.

Solving mazes on paper can help, too, I think.  There are a lot of sites on the web that can be used to generate mazes.  This is also more interesting to most kids.

Finally, I found, with one of my children, that the writing instrument made a different, too.  When he was very young, the feel of a pencil on paper was disconcerting to him.  We found the felt-tipped pens and a fountain pen were a little better, because they ran more smoothly over the paper.  And smooth paper helped, too.  Might be worth trying.

Hopefully others will come through with other ideas, too.
> 60 days ago

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ilovechefwilliam
ilovechefwi... , Teacher, Caregiver writes:
To be able to give better advice an age would be helpful. If you are noticing this talk to his teacher and see if she is seeing the same things.  Also talk to your peditricain.  

Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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LDSolutions
LDSolutions , Child Professional writes:
Very often, children who struggle with letters have never been taught the exact formation of each letter.  Their brains are struggling with "how was that letter formed again"  and each time it comes out differently.  These children need to be taught very systematically.  You might want to use a multisensory approach to working with the writing.  The child can trace the letter and then write it in the air.  A great program is "Handwriting Without Tears."  Also - have your child evaluated by an Occupational Therapist.  This can be done through your school district.
> 60 days ago

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Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
Hello, it depends on his or her age and whether or not he is ready for this skill. Remember handwriting is a skill that improves over time. We don't master this completely. It is never really perfected even at our best. And take into consideration his own unique style of writing. My ten-year-old writes so small we need a microscope to see it. Also, cursive handwriting seems to be easier for younger children. So try having him practice cursive instead of print. The child does not have to pick up the pencil as often (less stress on hand).
Also, practice a warm up (like a coloring page) before any writing exercise.
> 60 days ago

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canpanita
canpanita writes:
well for one you can keep practicing to write his or her name and then make your child work to get stronger on his or her wrist and that might help. i hope it does.
> 60 days ago

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