Encourage Handwriting

The meaning of handwriting is; the writing done with the hand and while it may not be apparent to many, it does somehow represent a person’s characteristics. Some experts may also be able to tell the hidden meaning behind different handwritings. A handwritten piece may also be able to tell the nature or the sincerity of the person at the point that piece was written. It can also portray the energy and the confidence of the writer him/herself. Whatever the fascinating discoveries may be with regards to one’s handwriting, it is without doubt something that one carries with oneself… a signature of one’s own.

Handwriting skills while not seemingly emphasized during elementary stage of schooling, is nevertheless introduced to ensure that children can slowly develop that skill which is equally if not more important than reading itself. A skill will work its best when introduction is at at early stage, in this case when preschoolers are also just learning to recite and recognize letters.. numbers, (etc) and also learning to make sense of the written form. Writing skills are not just used in schools but even at work for those drafts, note writing, messages (etc). While keyboard skills are as important these days, handwriting are as important as well.

Handwriting is important for :-

> it helps with co-ordination.

> it enhances motor skills

> it develops visual perception & concentration

> it helps to have legible handwriting for school work & later on when the child joins the work force

Here’s how i started handwriting practices with my girls and students.

> I started with dots/dot-to-dot first as tracing with dots are much easier as they are close to one another almost showing what the print is really. I purchased an EPH writing a to z book and got them to do one page a week, unless if willingly asked to do more. They were about 3 years old. There are also pre-set themes of writing sheets you can easily download from here.


> I followed up with dash lines. Lines are slightly further apart from dots and creates a one-up challenge from dots.

> Then, i continued by giving the girls a more relaxed approach to practising writing their letters and numbers with hollow letter/number shapes. They can trace over the letter shapes as many times as they want using any colours they have, hence creating an almost rainbow letter when written repeatedly. At this stage, they’re more confident and usually try to stay within the lines.

> Finally, i purchase the 3-liner exercise books to now introduce writing on fixed lines… ensuring each print are of the same size, unless when it comes to upper case alphabets… drawing a margin… etc

> Eventually now that they’re steady with normal handwriting, as they grow older they will develop speed for writing as writing now comes smoothly and confidently. The flair for writing will eventually lead them to the cursive phase of handwriting.. aah.. for this i give freedom of space. They can each develop their own writing style from hereon. πŸ™‚

Here i share a webbie that best describes the work i have done with my girls. The webbie even allows for parents and educators to print children’s names for practice. How cool! No need for you to set font size and make one from scratch! Just type in what you want the children to practice on and print. It even allows you to select if you want it printed horizontally for longer names or words.


Want to move on to paragraph-styled writing practices? No sweat. Here’s another webbie that supports that.


I love the seasonal writing templates in this next website for it further upgrades the child to work on their own short stories. They have one themed for Halloween or for a personal scary story or a haunted house and more!



There can also write about their Easter celebration and their Christmas party last year on other seasonal templates available on the website. Nice, i say… πŸ˜‰


Or if you need just a story paper frame for free-writing.. introducing number concepts or early science intro to animals and soo much more… they have it too!

Here’s one done by an previous student of mine; Val..

It was a free topic for all of them that day and she wanted to write about her mystery.. very creative. Her work was done on a similar story-paper-frame template like the one above.



My students and I also play with words like these.. These activities while they do not promote neat writing, per se it still encourages writing. It develops creativity and offers fun spelling help / revision too. It breaks away from monotonous writing practices.


For the slightly older kids, other ways to encourage them to write are by requesting they write to their grandparents once in awhile. Share with them how it adds a personal touch and how grandma and grandpa would be so nicely surprised by their gesture. Indulge them in a scrapbooking project over the holidays and it could be about the recent family trip they’ve gone to. Stick pictures and ask them to write suitable captions below each of them. This way memories won’t just be on that moving screen monitor. πŸ˜› How about casually asking them to help write a list of things you  need to get from the stores or take down phone messages for you when you’re not around. I love those memo pads that’s printed… "When you were not around… so and so called… "  and "the message is…." Let the fingers do the talking for you. In this case your children are your mini secretaries. Hehehe..

My girls write journals.. tho on and off these days due to killer homework… like these ones. πŸ™‚

Taken from DD2’s diary from Nursery days. πŸ˜‰

Taken from DD1’s diary from P1 days. πŸ˜‰

There are a couple more excerpts taken from their journals in this thread below too, if you’re keen to encourage your children on writing a diary.


And we also write notes to one another too..

Here’s a quickie DD1 wrote one time, before she went to school. A post it note on our fridge..

Encourage writing when you can.. children can learn to appreciate the effort and the idea that their handwriting can depict them as a person.




Gradual Extension

Quote reiner, "…never cross my mind to start my girl on writting yah… tot this part will let kindy/ sch to handle (lazy mummy yah)… so just teach her to read… then one day, she showed me her 1st homework (K1)… faint… her writing is horrible, some big (for small case) some small (for big case), somemore "offline"…. think me gotta buck up this part with her… phew… your posting is much help yo…. esp the webby sites…. is 15min of practice/ day enough?"

Heyya there reiner, seen this too late… oops. Aniwaes, to answer your question… 15min a day is a lot for a child who is just starting out. You may gradually extend the duration as your child progresses in her writing stages or when she starts enjoying the writing process… whichever comes first.



Consistency in early preps..

Quote tree nymph, "Hey Buds,"

Heyya tree nymph, haven’t seen you around much. You must have your hands full. You have your own place yet?

"Thanks for the pointers and sharing with us the websites that has the dotted worksheets. Just in time too!"

Just in time? Well then, i’m glad. πŸ˜‰

"My little boy is going to be three this year but I think he is like his big brother who doesn’t like to study very much… headache…."

Try not to leave them be yah.. Don’t give up! Jia you!

"Anyway, I will try to follow your advise and start out with him properly. Don’t want to have to cane him for not able to hold pencil properly like castle’s…"

It takes some work but the end-product… priceless. Last minute stress and added with an external person’s remarks led to the unfortunate circumstances. Hence, while it turned out well eventually, one can avoid similar scenarios if tacked earlier and systematically. All the best my friend, jia you!

"BTW, your gals’ handwritting is very good – so neat!!!"

Early preps.. Takes some effort.. Stick to your guns.. and yours can achieve the same. Consistency in practice does help.

Never Meant to Cane

Hi tree nymph

lolx.. ya.. prepare them early to avoid the canning… cos it hurt the child and pain the parents’ heart..

I believed under such circumstances, my hubby was left with no choice as all K1 students were expected to write.. and my son could not even hold a pen.. not to say to write properly..

It was the only immediate action to create the immediately impact on ds to achieve the immediate result..

He had not cane him since then..:) *cross fingers* 

He is coming to 5yo. Usually

He is coming to 5yo. Usually when we hold the pencil our index finger will be together with the thumb, but DS’s index finger will be somewhere near the top of the pencil and the middle finger is with the thumb…

tried many ways to correct him but he’s still the same

He's currently using those

He’s currently using those triangle pencil but still have difficulty holding the pencil…

is there anything with holds or grip like those chopsticks learner?

Sweet Post-it..

Quote kabalevsky, "Thanks for sharing! Your dd is so sweet with the last post-it. :)"

You’re welcome, hun. πŸ™‚ That post-it has been there like forever (hubs’ jealous words).. LOLz..  and it was written one of the days, before she rushed off to school. I woke up, got to the kitchen and was supremely surprised to find the note posted on the fridge. πŸ˜‰ It made my day.

When the girls were younger, i had those alpha-magnets on the fridge. Baby years, they fiddled and arranged the letters according to colour. Toddler years they learnt their abc’s and tried to arrange them in sequence. During preschool days, we had word of the day on the fridge, so they learnt new words every other day. Kindy days, they stringed short phrases with them…

So, when they began writing… it sorta became natural that their notes of happiness, frustration or sadness or even pure surprise and appreciation… resumed on that same fridge and even when we changed new fridges. ;)… cute arh?

thanks for the pointers!

Hey Buds,

Thanks for the pointers and sharing with us the websites that has the dotted worksheets.  Just in time too!

My little boy is going to be three this year but I think he is like his big brother who doesn’t like to study very much…  headache….

Anyway, I will try to follow your advise and start out with him properly.  Don’t want to have to cane him for not able to hold pencil properly like castle’s…

BTW, your gals’ handwritting is very good – so neat!!!

Β Thanks for sharing! Your dd

 Thanks for sharing! Your dd is so sweet with the last post-it. πŸ™‚

thanks for the info :)

thanks for the info πŸ™‚

Thank you

Hi buds

Thank you.

Yes, I agreed. In fact, this hubby of mine pampered the children more than the mummy.. lolx..

I guessed as you mentioned.. we never started preparing him early.. and ds being the eldest kid in the family had to be made paving the steps/way for the sisters.. even for this year – P1 Registration..

Husband loves all his children but will lose his patience if reaches his limits and I know he had mellow down alot alot…. πŸ™‚ and being the wife and their mummy.. I have to be the breaker.. and so far.. I have done a good job.. lolx..

You know.. my tears nearly flow when I read your comments… and Yes.. I agreed he had done a good job.. and I am sure.. dh will do better.. if not under such pressurizing moments/circumstances…

Thank you…



My heart ached with you..

Heyya Castle House, my heart ached with you as i read what you have penned down. What your husband did was really immediate intervention to set things right and fast like how most husbands do.. cos time is of essence and patience is another thing too.  This is why in most of my advice to fellow friends here is the importance of early preparation. Early preparation allows for more time for the child to grasp concepts and skills instead of the last minute crunch or cane, in your case.

I am very happy for you that the following meet-the-teacher-session was a more positive experience for you. Do try to keep up with observing your DS’s work so that he can maintain or even improve further if he can.

However i must tell you one thing dear… i applaud your affirmative gesture of respect and also love & appreciation for the work your husband had done for his son.. your son. Yes, he DID a great job… and i’m sure given a different circumstance and not under such pressurizing conditions, i’m sure he wouldn’t have wanted to cane his son like that.. or see you cry with him.. Your husband must have had that aching feeling in his heart too when he had to execute his method of intervention. I am sure as a father, all he really wanted was the best for his son.

*hugs* for you and your DS… from me.

I’m a PM away if you think you may require some help or just a lending ear.

Regards, buds..

My DS Hardship

Hi all

Saw this articles and want to express my heartfelt experience on this topic.

My ds started learning writing when he went K1.

It was our fault that we had never taught him to hold a pen and to guide him to write.

When we went for the 1st Meet the Parent’s Session, the first comment that we received from the Teacher was ‘Your son can’t write and can’t even hold a pen. Think the parents need to teach him’. We were stunned and hb was angry.

The moment we were home, hb started coaching ds.. the .. the painful (for mummy) and hardest (ds) way… canning..

DS received canning almost everyday when hb spent his time coaching him to write as both are left handed (mummy is right handed so can only watch from afar and feel very heartpain).

I will always remember that when dh was coaching ds … with cane is the father’s hand.. started to shout at ds for not concentrating.. and making remarks that ds’s handwriting was ugly… etc.. etc.. and as mummy to witness ds’s tear flowing.. and controlling his tear.. it was a very painful feeling *for me*..

There were days that I had to stop dh from canning too much on ds..

Until one day this mummy buay tahan.. I told dh.. ‘It was our fault that we started him late.. so we can’t blame him for that… he is only a 5yo child.. who needs alot of guidance and support and motivation from us.. but by you canning him and making remarks on him.. on his handwriting.. will not help in improving.. but only make him losing his confidence.. he is no longer our cheerful boy’ and I cried with ds..

I guessed dh was too angry by the Teacher’s remarks to see all that.. and he had changed his teaching method since then..

I am proud now to say that the Teacher who commented that our ds can’t even hold a pen and can’t write had commented during the next Meet the Parent Session ‘ xxx had improved alot on his handwriting.. and I am really impressed with that..’ .. my eyes were filled with tears.. and I told this Teacher.. ‘Ya.. he learnt the hardway.. and the father had done a gd job’

Till now.. ds still continue to write.. thou his handwriting is not those will receive award kind.. at least.. I am proud to say my ds can write and can hold a pen..


Tks for the advice,

Tks for the advice, Buds.

Yes, worksheets play a major part in training them to write properly & correctly. I too, hv those dotted lines tracing & DS & DD started on those first. Followed by 3 lines free hand writing whereby they wrote the alphabets on their own with the help of these 3 lines ( the middle one being in dotted form) so that they know where to start & stop, where the curves should be, etc.

Right now, only have to monitor DD’s mixture of caps & small lettering in her name. I am training her to write her full name & she tends to write both capital & small lettering.

Very nice article

Thanks buds for sharing this… however sometimes I feel when we grow up is it really required to have good handwriting… for me I got 1st prize for best handwriting during primary days however DS has horrible one.. must have gone to DH…. but now I dont even have to write a smallest thing everything on comp… maybe at the most wat things to buy from shop before weekly grocerry shopping…

So sometimes I feel I am too hard on DS for having good handwriting but dunno where to start with..

Thanks for writing this post!

Thanks for writing this post!  It’s a very timely and well-thought out method of tackling early writing. πŸ™‚

I do the same thing for my kids in their writing for Chinese.  I print the characters in a lighter shade of grey for them to trace, according to the correct stroke order that I start them off on.

I also feel that sometimes, the tracings kids undergo in school might be too big for them to handle comfortably.  To counter that, I print my own handwriting worksheets.

To encourage neat work, I also allow my kids to use a pen to write.  Pilot’s Frixion Pens are erasable, but the vibrant colours encourage my kids to making an effort to write. πŸ™‚

There are a number of

There are a number of triangle pencil grips that you can purchase from Popular bookshop to convert your normal pencil to an ergonomically-designed pencil with the correct grip for your child.

They are inexpensive and helps greatly with helping your child find the right way to hold the pencil. πŸ™‚

Pincer Grip

Quote WCW, "DS has problem holding the pencil properly… trying my best to correct this. any comments?"

Hmmm.. i suppose i could dish out a few activities to help improve his pincer grip. Montessorian children are spoilt for choice when it comes to working with materials that encourage the pincer grip. There are too many! πŸ˜‰

How old is your DS again, sorry?

DS has problem holding the

DS has problem holding the pencil properly… trying my best to correct this. any comments?

Writing skill and competency

Writing skill and competency requires practice. Practice can be done in school of course but can have extra fun and impromptu ones at home too. 15 mins at different intervals or different times in a day is sufficient for starters and increase the duration when you gauge she’s keen or able to do more.  Reading and writing done in tandem will help escalate her learning process, so yes, do encourage handwriting activities as and when the opportunity arises. Cheerios!

start to write...

never cross my mind to start my girl on writting yah… tot this part will let kindy/ sch to handle (lazy mummy yah)… so just teach her to read… then one day, she showed me her 1st homework (K1)… faint… her writing is horrible, some big (for small case) some small (for big case), somemore "offline"…. think me gotta buck up this part with her… phew… your posting is much help yo…. esp the webby sites…. is 15min of practice/ day enough?

Related Articles