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Grandparenting

Grandson's handwriting

(41 Posts)
lucyinthesky Sun 24-Mar-19 14:22:01

My elder grandson is six and very bright but he struggles with his handwriting and calls himself 'stupid' sad

Any suggestions as to how we can help him please? TIA

aggie Sun 24-Mar-19 14:39:46

My Eldest is 16 and tells me his awful handwriting doesn't matter because he types more than writes , I know he is wrong ! but I am trying with the 8yrold to get her to do "pretty" writing .
In the dark ages when i was at school we practised and practised , hands cramped , tongue out , and we did get better .
You know , I think the first thing is to get him to relax about it ! Make sure he is holding the pencil correctly and comfortably , and keep reassuring him that it will come , tell him to think of it as drawing and painting words

Doodle Sun 24-Mar-19 14:42:35

Tell him there are many brilliant people in the world whose handwriting is dreadful and different people have different skills.
Tell him now is one of the best times to have bad handwriting as there are so many other ways of communicating now by texting, voice recognition, keyboard.
Teach him to type. My Autistic DGS had dreadful writing. Took him so long to write a word the rest of the class had packed up and gone home. He can type over 30 wpm. Took time but may be worth investigating if his writing is really bad. What do the school say?
Tell him he can’t be stupid if he has a granny who loves him so much. 😊

B9exchange Sun 24-Mar-19 14:43:12

Is he left handed? Our six year old GS is, and his handwriting is a real struggle, I think it just takes some children longer than others.

What is worrying is why he is calling himself 'stupid', where would he get that idea? I'd try and find out where that came from if I were one of his parents.

As a grandparent, you can buy him books with handwriting exercises in, and take him shopping to choose choose fancy pencils and pens, but only to make it fun, don't let him see you are worried. He will get there!

Grandma70s Sun 24-Mar-19 14:56:36

The cheering thing about this is that it is very common, and handwriting has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence. Some of the brightest people I know have dreadful writing.

In my experience boys and men have more trouble with writing than girls do - though I do remember struggling myself when I was six or seven.

stella1949 Sun 24-Mar-19 14:59:19

My grandson was the same at that age. I tried to help with exercise sheets but he never seemed to improve. Then suddenly at 10 he started bringing home his school books with really neat handwriting in them - I honestly thought it was another child's writing at first. But it is his - suddenly his writing has changed for the better. Maybe it's to do with the size of their hands - I don't know but it can improve, as I've found out.

lucyinthesky Sun 24-Mar-19 15:04:58

Thanks everyone - I'm not sure where the 'stupid' has come from but I think he may be a perfectionist like my SiL and thinks something he can't do means he is stupid. I know his parents would never say anything like this to him.

lucyinthesky Sun 24-Mar-19 15:05:59

Unlike his mum he is right handed

M0nica Sun 24-Mar-19 15:06:34

Is he also a bit clumsy and poorly co-ordinated? In which case he may be dyspraxic. It is a problem on the learning curve of dyslexia, dyscalcula etc. DS and I both have it. Therapy varies. We had it about thirty years ago when the recognition of this problem was new and had specialised physiotherapyexercises, which helped - a bit ours and his salvation will be keyboards. See if you can get him some typing classes so that he can awe other children with his mastery of touch typing.

I know the problems, in the Vi Form, teachers were still constantly making me try different writing instruments and styles to try and improve my writing without avail. I hand wrote exams at O level, A level, and university and my poor writing never held me back.

So tell him, not to worry, lots of other people have the problem and got on in life and once he is 11 and goes to secondary school, he will never have to write another piece of school work. In the meanwhile, let him take his time and make sure the teacher isn't over preassurising him.

eazybee Sun 24-Mar-19 15:26:19

His parents need to find out what scheme they teach at his school; (it should be cursive but this can be difficult to master;) ask his teacher for advice on how he can improve, and for simple writing patterns to practise to improve his motor control.
Check on his pencil grip and posture as he writes; make sure he is sitting properly with feet on the floor and back against his chair, which will guard against back problems in later life.

trisher Sun 24-Mar-19 15:34:01

It may be dyspraxia. But he's right about typing. Teach him keyboard skills and let him use a computer sometimes so that he can write freely without feeling the extra stress. My DS was given a laptop at about 10 because his writing was terrible and it was restricting his creative work.
Don't just concentrate on his writing though. Improve his gross motor skills by teaching him to ride a bike, kick a football, balance and climb. Improve his fine motor skills by letting him paint and draw freely and play games like Jenga.
And it's true lots of adults have awful writing!

Bridgeit Sun 24-Mar-19 15:38:58

Talk to him about the word ‘Stupid’ explaining that it’s not a very nice word to call anyone but that it is sometimes said if an action carried out was dangerous or nasty or deliberate etc.
ie. People aren’t Stupid , but sometimes they behave in a ( daft, silly way which can also be called stupid) best wishes

jura2 Sun 24-Mar-19 15:41:58

Can't find it right now- but I saw a report on cognitive research last year that said that as kids type more than they handwrite, it is having a real effect on brain development. If anyone can link to that, that would be great.

lucyinthesky Sun 24-Mar-19 15:52:05

DD has said she will talk to his teacher about it this week.

He is a very active little boy - loves footie (thanks to me lol) trampolining, climbing walls with his Dad no problems with balance. Jenga is a good idea, thanks trisher

B9exchange Sun 24-Mar-19 15:52:06

Something like this Jura2?

www.educationnews.org/technology/research-handwriting-spurs-brain-activity-typing-doesnt/

jura2 Sun 24-Mar-19 16:02:42

yes, thanks. Here is another one :

well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/06/20/why-handwriting-is-still-essential-in-the-keyboard-age/

Does not help lucyin thesky and her grandson, though. I would ask for a meeting with teacher to discuss how, as a team, school, parents + grandparents- you could help him improve and help with confidence too. My grandson is left-handed and not a neat writer, but it does not seem to bother him.

If that fails, and you can afford it- perhaps ask a local tutor to help for a few weeks and get him some specific excercises?

lucyinthesky Sun 24-Mar-19 16:06:47

Thanks jura2 Let's hope the teacher can help. Can't be the first time.

trisher Sun 24-Mar-19 16:08:13

Before you try a tutor there is lots of on-line stuff that can help
www.teachhandwriting.co.uk/how-to-teach-handwriting.html

Nandalot Sun 24-Mar-19 16:08:27

DGS is the same. He is now getting fine motor skills sessions once a week at school...cutting etc. So perhaps craft work might help. We went down the route of buying him special pencils because he holds the pencil in such a funny way but because they were so thick you couldn’t see any improvement. He seems to write better with biro. He is almost 8 by the way. He also has problems with general coordination. Couldn’t hop etc naturally but recreational gym classes outside school twice a week have helped.
Certainly talk to school about it.

Alima Sun 24-Mar-19 16:16:30

He isn’t stupid bless him. He just needs time. Could be his age. DGD is now year 3. Her handwriting has improved ten fold this last few months. DGS (year 2) is brilliant at reading and number work. His handwriting is awful but we can see the glimmer of improvement lurking. We ask for his help in writing lists or notes, anything that will get him practicing without knowing it.

lucyinthesky Sun 24-Mar-19 16:36:07

That's interesting Alima DGS is also good at reading and number work. And a good idea to help writing lists or notes.

quizqueen Sun 24-Mar-19 16:56:52

Boys, especially, often need to reinforce learning how to form the shape of letters by using large movements.

So, for example, get him to 'write' in the air using his whole arm or use a stick in sand or his finger in flour on the table or use a paintbrush or trace over a large letter shape with his finger. Make sure he is forming each letter properly with the correct starting and end point. All the letters other than 't, f, i and j ( sometimes 'k', depending on the preferred school style) should be written in one movement without taking 'the pen or whatever' off the paper and some letters need the same line going over in an up and down movement to form the letter correctly. There are cheap practice books you can buy.

If the school is insisting on adding entry strokes to the letter formation to aid future 'joined up 'writing, then often a child's writing will look a total mess till they master it so maybe go back to basics of writing each letter separately for a while.

DoraMarr Sun 24-Mar-19 19:58:42

I was an infant teacher befor I retired. Lots of children who had poor handwriting had poor muscle development. I used to suggest they played with plasticine, if the parents could get it- playdough is too soft and doesn’t allow much resistance, so the hand muscles aren’t having to work as hard. Playing with Lego also helps, and bead threading, sewing and tracing. We used to have clay out for the children to play with too, and do lots of action rhymes.

paddyann Sun 24-Mar-19 20:10:59

I wouldn't worry about his handwriting at 6 ,if he was 12 or 13 then I might but he's just learning and no one is perfect at everything right away .He'll get there in his own time .

Deedaa Sun 24-Mar-19 20:36:56

GS1 had the most awful illegible writing. He used to do a lot on the computer so it was readable. Then when he was 11 they decided that the children must learn cursive script for Sats. We were appalled because we couldn't see how he would cope. Lo and behold he started producing this beautiful, legible script (he said it was much easier than printing all the letters) Being autistic he had to have it explained to him that he should use this lovely writing in all his classes and not just the handwriting ones. wink