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Best Practice Tips – The importance of forming letters correctly

Posted in: Blog | April 22, 2021

Hand writing is a basic, but vital tool necessary in most academic subjects. From note-taking, to written exams, even as we rely upon typing skills, at school, university, the workplace, legible handwriting is still required.
From our very youngest, to our oldest children, we encourage mark-making. Mark-making helps children develop skills needed for handwriting, as well as engendering a sense of pride and achievement, in the marks they make, and what they represent.
If the writer finds it difficult to produce good quality handwriting, both fluently and easily, this can impact on higher-levels of writing, such as organisation of ideas, elaboration of details, and quality of content.
Vanessa Levin, an early childhood teacher, public speaker and author, advocates making the transition from mark-making to letter formation, a continuous process. ‘Letter formation’ refers to beginning strokes at the top of the paper, and working left to right. As she says, ‘It’s easier to push a boulder down hill, than up!’
If we don’t learn how to form letters correctly, handwriting will become difficult, and can hamper the ability to communicate effectively on paper. Try writing the word ‘cat,’ starting at the bottom of the ‘c.’ It is virtually impossible to write cursively this way.
Most importantly, learning correct letter formation should not be a chore. Don’t worry about writing on lines, just remember to help you child to start at the top of the page, on the left hand side. We read this way, and solve mathematical problems this way, so it’s a multi-purpose skill!
All children develop pencil control at different stages. As long as you continue to encourage mark-making, and practice fine-motor skill activities with your child, they will do brilliantly!

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