Teaching Handwriting Skills to Young Learners
Throughout my teaching career, I never once considered that teaching handwriting skills to young learners would be difficult. The first time I realised how difficult it was to teach young learners to write was when I got my three year old son admitted into a school. He enjoyed his school but when it came to writing, he was not willing even to hold a pencil.
I searched the internet to find what I could do but nothing worked for him. Then I bought him a writing board and coloured chalks. He showed little interest and started scribbling but still that did not help much. One day while I was busy doing something else I saw him scribbling and doodling on his story book. That gave me an idea to use colouring sheets instead of making him trace letters or shapes.
At first, I gave him coloring sheets which had his favourite cartoon characters, which produced amazing results. He not only started holding coloured pencils and crayons properly but also ended up spending all his free time in colouring different sheets (at times 12 to 15 per day). Later he sat with me to search for the colouring sheets of his choice. Within no time he began to trace and write letters of the alphabet, numbers and now he can draw some of his favourite cartoon characters and animals as well.
A closer analysis of the sheets he coloured, helped me to identify why he could do it so quickly. Have a look at some of his colouring sheets; he uses various stokes (horizontal, vertical, round etc.) to colour. He rarely uses a single colour; he always prefers multiple colours, always of his own choice. A variety of strokes, while colouring, strengthened his grip and helped him to trace and write properly.