Handwriting practice is required in kindergarten and in first grade – starting with writing the abc’s correctly.
But before the child can write legibly, good eye-hand coordination - a fine motor skill - is required.
For information on how to help your child develop his or her fine motor skills, visit Motor Skills.
Having good penmanship begins with knowing how to hold a pencil correctly ...
Remember, after a skill has been practiced incorrectly - for any length of time - it's practically impossible to change it!
Please, from the get-go, be diligent about teaching your child the proper grasp of a pencil. Later, you'll be soooo glad you did!
Here's a super short video that teaches you how to help your child with the correct pencil grip. Yay!
Speaking of handwriting, here are some first grade quotes on that subject - taken from my book - The Diary of a First Grade Teacher.
Joe Joe barreled through the classroom door, waving a paper in the air. “Look here,” he yelled. “Look at this! Last night my Papa learned me how to scribble!”
“Oh, I got one, too!” Weesie chimed in. “It’s right here!” She started digging in her school bag for something. But - whatever it was - she never found it, until later …
Later – as I was helping the yellow reading group – she sprang from her seat. Stomping her feet all the way across the classroom, she was bent forward, gasping, as if she were fighting a wind storm ...
“GUESS WHAT! My sister RIBBA RABBLED all over my good scribble work!” She held up a handwriting practice worksheet for everyone in the reading group to see.
Loegan – who had been reading - stopped and peered at her paper. It was covered in red crayon.
With a hopeless sigh of disgust, he shook his head and quickly confirmed the diagnosis. “Yep, that’s ribba rabble, all right!”
Gena said, “Oooooh, Teacher, Amy said she wants to learn how to write CURSING!”
Amy looked as if she had just been slapped. “CURVIS! Not cursing.”
“Oh,” Gena replied, easily. “I thought you said a ugly word.”
Blushing, Amy gazed at Gena in mute wonder... then she burst out laughing. “Nooooo … I want to know WHEN we gunna write CURVIS... I can’t hardly wait!”
Gena spun around with a request, too. “Yeah, Teacher, learn us how to SPEAK curvis, too!”
I was checking my students’ handwriting today, as I do every day. They know that I expect their best penmanship, or they’ll have to erase and start over.
Of course - for many reasons - no one wants to begin again. Mostly, the first graders don’t want to miss Recess.
It’s rare that someone has to begin again. But it does happen. As their teacher, I know if it’s their best work or simply something just slung on paper.
I pointed to Joe Joe’s handwriting practice page ... I couldn’t read a single letter of the alphabet. Folding my arms across my chest, I said, “Hmmm.” That’s usually all I have to say.
For a long time, he was silent.
“Well, that pencil won’t write good!” he said, between clenched teeth. “It’s my Papa’s fault. He’s the one that bought that old thing!”
Grumbling under his breath, he continued, “And he bought it at a JUNK STORE!”
A little later - after he had erased and started over - I went to see him again.
“Hmmm,” I said, stalling.
“I didn’t do that,” he insisted.
He looked at me accusingly. “REALLY!” Then, with his chin tucked against his chest, he changed his attitude and mumbled, "My pencil done it.”
I picked up his pencil and paper. “Let’s go to the table ... I’ll help you.”
“No, REALLY!” he argued. “You might THINK it looks sloppy, but it ain’t!”
Tilting his head way back – and with a pained expression - he looked pleadingly into my eyes. “I promise ...” he whined, “it’s good enough!”
Here's a FREEBIE - from me to you! Handwriting Practice! It's a simple template of an envelope, ready for your child or your students to practice addressing an envelope! Fold it in the center, and it will stand on its own. This, of course, may be used anytime you think they're ready! Click the image, print and enjoy!