Articles for parents

How to develop good handwriting skills in your child

Jan 2018

Our handwriting is as unique as our fingerprints, and with the handwriting skills your child develops, they'll be able to put pen to paper to create a masterpiece, whether that be a picture, poem, essay or story.

As with any new learning, developing the motor skills needed to hold and control a pencil will be different for every child. You'll first need to identify which hand your child is most comfortable holding a pencil in; after this there are many ways you can help further encourage the acquisition of these skills in your child:

  • Play together: physical activity will help improve their hand-eye coordination, develop stamina, and strengthen their upper body muscles.
  • Read with them: regularly reading together and showing your child, the book will help them to recognise letters and their formation.
  • Encourage them to draw pictures or paint: this gets them used to holding a small object in their hand, which they will then learn to grip and control. You could likewise do this with cutlery, teaching them to feed themselves with a spoon or fork.
  • Fun workbooks: ones with dot-to-dot exercises or those where you have to draw lines and shapes. Also colouring inside the lines can show good grip of holding a pencil. These will help your child develop fine motor skills at the same time introducing them to the basic strokes for letter formation and enhancing your child's concentration.

Developing a student's handwriting skills is of course an important part of the Kumon English Programme, nonetheless our maths students are also encouraged to refine these skills thanks to the carefully designed worksheets. For example, the maths worksheets provide the students with a box in which they need to write their answer; these boxes gradually decrease in size as the student progresses through the programme until ultimately their handwriting is neat and appropriately sized, written without the use of aids.

Kumon's pencil skills levels or Z Levels provide even greater support, complementing the early levels of the maths and English programmes. These levels can help students develop pencil skills through the practice of scribbling and drawing lines, curves, and angles in a fun, colourful, and engaging way. In combination with other activities that advance motor skill development, the Kumon Z Levels will prepare students to write their letters and numbers for the first time with excitement and confidence.

As your child continues to progress with Kumon, they will successfully be able to join their letters, form sentences and effectively write neatly with speed and accuracy under timed conditions.

The skills your child learns now they'll carry with them as they get older, into primary school where they'll be completing their classwork and homework by hand, to secondary school where they'll be completing written examinations at GCSE and A-level, and beyond into further education.

Like any other skill, through practice your child's handwriting will improve, so it's your task to present them with ample exciting opportunities to progress.