Early handwriting skills (pre-writing skills) are developed through play. All those play activities a child undertakes and masters in their pre-school years sets them up for successful handwriting development once they commence school.
Efficient handwriting is developed through a combination of fine motor skills, midline crossing, body awareness, and core strength for postural control. When a child commences school, they are required to develop their handwriting skills to successfully complete academic tasks. In later years, along with the physical skills of handwriting, they are expected to develop the cognitive skills of handwriting such as organisation, spelling, grammar and story planning.
Poor handwriting skills can significantly impact academic performance which can carry over to a child’s confidence and self-esteem.
Is Handwriting a dying skill?
There is a popular school of thought that handwriting is on the way out, eventually being replaced by electronic devices, and that children will learn typing instead of handwriting. However, the use of keyboards are not always the answer that we often expect them to be. This is because they only remove some of the written communication pre-requisite skills that might challenge a student and not the more cognitive based skills that need further development (e.g. story planning, spelling) which contribute to slow speed or avoidance. In addition, students who struggle with the motor coordination of handwriting will often find the motor coordination for typing just as challenging.
We offer assessment and therapy to address handwriting difficulties. We also run various groups during school term time and during school holiday periods. If your child has not yet started school, you may be interested in our Fantastic Finger Fun fine motor groups, our sensorimotor prewriting groups or Ready, Set, School, our school readiness program. Call us today to discuss the possibilities.