Handwriting

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by j0j0, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. j0j0

    j0j0 New Member

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    Nov 14, 2007

    Let me start by saying I am not a teacher, I am a parent. A friend suggested I ask for ideas here. Anyway, my son is in fourth grade and he has the worst handwriting. I have been working with him at home and he is attending after school twice a week, but nothing is improving. He forms his letters in a strange way, from the bottom up and his lowercase letters such as j,g,y, are never below the line. He also seems to have difficulty differentiating between capital and lowercase. Any thoughts on what I can do to help him? Do I need to worry? Should I send him to an occupational therapist? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Nov 14, 2007

    Did he just suddenly develop this "bad" handwriting or has it been a long time coming? Letters were taught a few years ago so he should have learned that skill. If not, what was done for him at the time? How successful was it? Is his handwriting affecting his academic ability/progress? If not, that could be why it hasn't been addressed as a problem. Also, many boys have horrible handwriting at this age and we tend to accept it as normal...somewhat. And most importantly, becuase it might noy be affecting him academically, it will NEVERbe seen as a priority to receive OT services because there are many other studetns with severe OT needs who are ahead of your son on the list. Schools have only so many resources. My school counselor was just at a meeting where the counselors fromm various schools were just strong armed into making fewer referrals for specialized services of ANY kind because the board of education is complaining that schools and teachers are referring too many children for services!!
    It's ALL about the money......No child left behind? RIGHT!! Everyone is left behind now!! Ridiculous. I have many parents who simply take care of things on their own through tutoring at their own expense because they are tired of waiting on the school to do something. The school has its hands tied due to the limitations set upon us by the laws.
     
  4. Amers

    Amers Cohort

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    Nov 14, 2007

    What about getting a handwriting book like those used in lower elementary grades? They would show him how to make the strokes for the letters. It would basically be reteaching him to write. It would also take some time, since he has to "unlearn" his current way of writing and learn a new way.

    As for OT, I don't know too much about what is necessary for a child to qualify. Have you asked his teacher about it?
     
  5. j0j0

    j0j0 New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007

    Thanks for the replies, his handwriting has always been pretty bad, but until this year, none of the teachers have been overly concerned about it. As far as affecting his ability to learn, that is my concern. His reading is below grade level. I don't know what the test is called, but he scores in the 50's out of 100? I have talked with the teacher about an OT, she keeps saying let's wait and see. So, I guess we will just keep with the handwriting tablets, maybe I should try a pencil grip or the larger pencils? Wondering if there are more effective excercises I can try? No child left behind, um well my Dad is a teacher and so I sympathize with what you all go through with that! Thanks again.
     
  6. juc162

    juc162 Companion

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    Nov 15, 2007

    My suggestion is to definitely try larger pencils! Your son might need that thicker pencil to help him develop a firmer grasp on his pencil. I read somewhere that boys develop their fine motor skills later than girls. That might be another reason why his handwriting is as nice as it could be.

    Also, a lot of times students seem to rush. Does your son rush when he does his work? If that is so, he might be rushing to get work done and not worrying about what his handwriting looks like.
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Nov 15, 2007

    Have you had his eyes checked? When my son got his classes, his handwriting improved 150%. Worth a shot!
     
  8. hdavidson

    hdavidson Companion

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    Nov 15, 2007

    what about trying cursive, sometimes the flow or a "new way to write" can do wonders.
     
  9. TXTeacher4

    TXTeacher4 Companion

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    Nov 15, 2007

    Do you notice any other fine motor difficulties? Using utensils or cutting with paper?
     
  10. Miss Starr

    Miss Starr Companion

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    Nov 15, 2007

    What about starting to teach him to type. At my school if handwriting is still a problem in 4th grade we say forget it and start teaching them typing and word processing skills. We feel that if fine motor is a bit of a problem then we need to start early for the motor function necessary to type effectively and starting in end of third/beginning of 4th is a great time. The children who we have "given up on" for improving handwriting take and extra typing class, but it has a cool name and I am forgetting it now.

    They still have to handwrite some stuff for me and things like numbers in math, but for everything else I accept word processed work from them. For the kids I have now that are in this program most of them are not sloppy, but do have fine motor difficulties. They can and will form the letters properly when told, but it is just too labor intensive and slow. Their handwriting can't keep up with their thoughts and intellectual ability.

    Talk to your son's teacher about try to have him word process his written work.
     
  11. j0j0

    j0j0 New Member

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    Nov 16, 2007

    Yes, he does have trouble using utensils, it is a constant struggle at the dinner table to get him to use his fork. Scissors are no problem.
     
  12. j0j0

    j0j0 New Member

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    Nov 16, 2007

    They are learning to type this year. I will ask about letting him type assignments or do it in cursive, his cursive is so much better than his print.
     

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