For some, learning to read and write is a much harder battle than for others. This could be due to several factors, both external and internal.
At Edublox, we have seen students who struggle because of external issues such as living conditions or — more notable of late — the COVID-19 pandemic that has thrown a spanner into every student’s educational journey. Internal factors may also contribute, such as those related to dyslexia and dysgraphia. It remains a fact that reading and writing are two of the most basic essential skills needed to succeed in the modern world.
The benefits of being literate transcend individuals, families, communities, and nations. Literacy should be a right, not a privilege, so we decided to focus on the “right to write” this month. We have put together a few exercises and tools that you can introduce at home to assist your child in those early steps into their educational career.
Fine motor skills
Just like you need to lay the foundation before building a house, it is necessary to develop fine motor skills before moving on to letter formation. Try any of the following exercises to help the development of this essential skill:
- Crumble a sheet of paper into a small ball using only one hand.
- Use a spray bottle to water plants.
- String pasta or cereal onto a string.
- Pop bubble wrap.
If fine motor skills are the foundation of a house, letter formation is the walls. Once fine motor skills are in place, you can try the following exercises:
- Teach your child the correct way to grip a pencil. Check each time before your child starts writing so that they will get used to the feeling.
- Have your child draw a shape (line, square, rectangle, triangle, curve) on dotted paper without lifting their hand from the page. Encourage them to start drawing from top to bottom rather than bottom to top!
- Letter formation worksheets (see below) demonstrate how each letter should be formed.
- Inexpensive tools, such as the letter and shape boards below, can be bought at Crazy Store. They are a great tool to master the feeling of holding a pencil and practising shape or letter formation.
- Another tip is to use shorter pencils since they allow easier control.
Finally, the house needs a roof. Once letter formation has been established, we can move on to spacing while writing.
- When your child writes, have them practise starting to write against a margin. Should their book not have a margin, you can draw one.
- When looking at spacing between words, have your child practise putting a finger between each word.
- A 3-line book can also help your child develop special awareness while writing. These books are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased from most stationery stores.
- For spacing of numbers, introduce block maths workbooks.
While your child is exploring the world of writing, praise each step. The goal while writing is not to achieve perfection but rather to see improvement.