Beginning Handwriting

There is a strong connection between learning to read and learning to write. Being able to write a word will clearly help a child to read that word. In a more general sense, writing down things they want to say and then reading them to someone, helps children to appreciate that writing is for communicating ideas.

Given the opportunity, most children start to enjoy scribbling with crayons and pencils while still toddlers. They often want to "read" to you what they have "written". This shows that they are already beginning to grasp the idea that squiggles on a page can tell you something and that there is a relationship between talking and writing.

By the age of four, most children are capable of writing some letters, usually those that appear in their own name. At five, most children are ready to start copying words. As their pencil control increases, their writing will gradually improve. Do remember that neatness in handwriting has nothing to do with intelligence and that too much insistence on it may constrain what a child has to say. It is important however, to develop legible handwriting. If, after two or three years of practice, your child’s handwriting remains very poor, discuss with the child’s teacher.

Holding It

It does not matter whether your child uses pencils, crayons or felt pens to write with… but do check that whatever the child uses, he/she is holding it correctly. It is easy to develop bad writing habits by starting with the wrong grip. They should be held lightly between the thumb and the first finger (pointer), about 1 inch from the point as a rough estimate.

Pencil Control

It takes a lot of practice to develop sufficient pencil control to write legible letters. Activities such as drawing, tracing, colouring, using chalks or paints, and copying or making up patterns can all contribute significantly to this process.

Mirror Writing

Many children start by writing some letters and numbers backwards, especially "b" and "d"… 2, 3 and 7… or even produce superb mirror writing. Six and seven year olds, often continue to do this. It is something that nearly puts itself right in time, but try to point out the mistake and gently suggest correcting it.

Our elder girl used to write superb mirror writing around age five… and knowing all the terminologies used for such children (dyslexic) and how we ARE in the industry, I must admit… it was panic attack!  We were kinda hard on her at first, until i really sat down to think how to positively tackle this situation. As constructive as possible… So we all played letter games, did crafts and also painting activities to motivate her to write the proper way. It was a few months phase.. of correcting and of encouraging.. Crying or Very sadAnd now she not only writes properly, she also writes beautifully.. Love

Left-Handed Children

A minor percentage of children are left-handed. Of this group, some are ambidextrous, that is… they can use both hands. In the past, all children even those who were strongly left-handed, were trained to use their right hand for writing. In some cases, this is thought to have caused stammering. It is now understood that children should be allowed to choose which hand is best for them. If however, they can use both… it is sensible to choose one dominant hand and stick to it. Otherwise, it can get confusing.

Writing with the left hand is not easy because it entails a pushing movement – right-handed people use a pulling movement. A right-handed person’s hand moves along the page leaving visible what has just been written. Two simple solutions help to overcome this problem…

  1. Get the child to hold his pencil a little further from the end than you would for a right-handed child.
  2. Position the writing paper at an angle 45 degrees to the child’s body.
  3. Special 3-sided pencil grips can be bought rather cheaply. These make the pen or pencil fatter and easier to grip and can help a left-handed child to write more quickly and with much less effort.

In the early stages of reading, children often like to point to the words in the book. A left-handed child is better off using a strip of card or a ruler, to place under the words and sentences.



Beginning Handwriting

Hello Buds,

I read your article with great interest.  My little boy who just turned four is a left hander.  He struggles just to trace on dotted lines.  Unlike most young children, he has very little interest in coloring, arts n crafts and generally anything that requires some use of fine motor skills.  I almost think this is a vicious cycle – being left handed makes writing, coloring etc  difficult, so he shuns such activities, and because he does not have much practise in the area, his fine motor skills are underdeveloped, and writing/coloring continues to be challenging. 

Do you have any ideas on how I can help him?  Can you also tell me where I can get those special 3  sided pencil grips that you mentioned?

Thanks in advanced!




Tks RRMummy!

So touched to know i’ve been missed, RRMummy… thanks for making my day.

Missed chatting with you too! Hope to get back into action as much as i can now to catch up for lost time. I’ve not healed a hundred per cent but i will work on it with God’s help, the support of close frenz, family and also hubs…


Writing Posture

Writing posture is also important, as once that is fixed since young it will be difficult to change the habit. it will also affect the eyesight of the child.

at this stage we are more particular about our kids’ writing posture than the academics that they can achieve.

just some thoughts. 



Mirror Writing

Hi buds,

Welcome back, you have been missed 

Yup, I also hit the panic button when I saw the word ‘eson’ in one of DD1’s worksheet on parts of body.. and spelling ‘d’oy.. reverse #5.. thank goodness, it is not appearing so frequently now..

haiz.. but legible writing.. that we have got quite a lot of work to do.. question is how to motivate her to write legibly when she is doing the work on her own (like in school)?



It is true that children

It is true that children tends to write in mirror image when young. My DS1 has this problem when he was young. Being a lazy parent, I did not really enforce the correct wording. But he sort of out grown that slower. Now I’m seeing the same thing with DS2. Hoping that he will also out grown that slower. 

DS2 may be ambidextrous

Thanks for the great info. Very good observations you have there!

Suspect DS2 is a ambidextrous. He changes hands when he writes (or rather scribbles) when his hands become tired. He still can’t decide on his dominant hand though.

Thanks !


Thanks for your very informative and helpful article. I always enjoy reading what you write.

My boy, who is coming to 5 this year,  is also a left hander.  He was writing many letters and numbers in mirror images.  There was a short period of time last year when I wanted to train him to write properly.  I gave up very quickly, I simply didn’t have the patience.   He only practiced writing his letters and numbers at his PCF kindergarten.  I continued to teach him reading only at home.

I am pleasantly surprised to find out now that he is able to spell more than100 words !   He has been writing words on his own initiative, following his older sister who loves to draw and write.   He is still mixing upper and lower case together, but the mirror writing problem has improved significantly.    I realized that the solution is not to let him practice writing only letters.   Reading consistently (he reads one page of about 150 words a day)  has enabled him to be familiar many commonly used words.  When he writes the words, he can tell whether it looks right or not. In order words, the shape of the whole word helps him to write correctly.

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