popi_gwApril 3, 2007

My DS is 14 and has really messy handwriting.

I have spoken to him about this, saying that it is important to have legible handwriting etc, etc.

It is troubling in maths, because he can get answers wrong, because the teacher can't read them.

I have spoken to the teachers about this, but they dont have any ideas on how we can improve the situation.

I wonder if there could be something wrong with him ?

Has anyone else had this problem, and can you please help me to come up with some ideas on how I can encourage him to take more care ?

I think he is in a hurry when he does his work, which may be the key to it.

When I talk to him about it, he says he will try harder and does for a microsecond and then its back to the old ways.

What words or encouragement, can I use ?



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DH has dreadful handwriting. Sometimes even he can't decipher it. He says it used to be better but he got into the habit of writing fast at uni. So maybe haste is your DS's problem. Wish I knew what to suggest.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 4:04AM
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My now 17 year old still has awful handwriting. Up and down lines, hardly any curves to her letters at all. It is better then it was but not by much. When she was in elementary school we had her tested. She has a very minor small motor problem. There was not much the OT could do. She gave us some of the mylar sheets with the printed alphabet on them (the ones with the arrows showing how the letter should be printed). Also some with just curves and circles. My daughter traced the letters with the pencil provided. Wiped off the sheets and practiced again. Maybe that will help your son some. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 3:22PM
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have him learn the definition of legible--

work with the teachers to expect him to be legible i.e. incompletes on assignments that can not be read.

make him use a computer/wordprocessor

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 12:03PM
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I have always thought that my sons writing is terrible, I can barely read it. But over the years, a number of his teachers have complimented him on his writing! When I asked them about it, they said it really wasn't that bad for a boy his age. They had some students that they requested all assignments turned in typed because their writing was so bad. O course, I can't really complain about my son, sometimes I can't read my own writing. Do you think it could be genetic?Ha!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 11:59PM
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Sometimes itÂs just the natural way your son or daughter writes. My handwriting is average and people can read my writing but I prefer to have Microsoft Word as in aid in my homework assignments so when I pass them in the handwriting is legible. I suggest you encourage them to use the computer for assignments. For example if your son or daughter has to answer a bunch of questions for homework. Then tell him to use the computer and type of answers to the question. If itÂs a worksheet tell him to do the best handwriting and take his time. You should enroll him into some handwriting classes to improve his penmanship. In the earlier grades they usually work on handwriting skills in class. I am only saying from personal experience. I know a kid from school who has sloppy handwriting and people are concerned with it and someone did an evaluation on him. Just give it time just tell him to complete assignments on the computer when he can.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 8:09PM
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I think that as parents we expect more out of our kids.
we have to realize that teachers see many their age over the years, so they can compare . I would trust what the teacher says.
I homeschooled for a while, and one thing they stressed when teaching kids and to not bicker too much about something, the result will end up being: they'll give up trying entirely.
our kids need encouragement, compliment him, he'll be proud and want to impress you even more with neater, and neater handwritting!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 9:23PM
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try graph paper for the math classes. The grid helps set spacial expectations top to bottom as well as from side to side -- one block per number or letter. I have also seen this used for written assignments -- for the same reason. It may help


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 11:44AM
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Kids today have it easy. "if their handwriting is bad just tell them to do the assignment on the computer" I wish I had that option when I brought home a "C" in handwriting and my dad made me sit down and write a page out of the dictionary EVERY single night for the whole quarter until I brought my handwriting grade up to a B or above. BTW a page out of a dictionary is about 4 or 5 pages in notebook paper :(

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 6:09PM
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I would consult with a special education teacher and/or an educational psychologist to rule our perception or fine motor skill problems.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 4:47PM
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I was thinking the same as kathyanddave. What happens to a student that has no computer nor easy access to one? We've become SO dependent on computers, our kids can't spell, write, and sometimes, it seems, can't think! With my oldest, it was going too fast combined with a bit of lazy.
When I needed him to sign his first SS card (grade school which tells you it's been awhile!), I told him 'write it so I can read it' and he did.

Some of us adults are nearly as bad. I use a computer so much at work, my handwriting isn't what it was a few years ago. But I can still write so someone can actually read it!

Perhaps having him tested to see if it's a true eye/hand
coordination or something else or if it's just a bit of
hurry + lazy like my oldest would be beneficial.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 1:37PM
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Dysgraphia is a real thing. I would ask your school system for an evaluation for dysgraphia. Occupational Therapy is also a very useful resource and worth investigation as well. There are handwriting specialists out there - why not use their expertise to evaluate him?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 2:26AM
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The problem is that good handwriting begins by teaching the student when 5 to 6 years old. It takes many hours of practice to develop a flowing hand-script. The best environment is one with few distractions plus a reason to write by hand. These two elements are missing in today's society making it tough to motive the student. In those 'olden' times, motivation was partly supplied by grades. Penmanship was a requirement in school and was part of your grade. If your penmanship was not good enough, you did not pass into the next grade - that was harsh motivation. However, a teacher could make some allowance for motor skill deficiency, but this was subjective.

In times past, all invitations, thank you notes, greeting cards, and personal correspondence were handwritten. Written checks were popular and it was critical for these to be read with accuracy.

I fault the school system for much of today's poor penmanship. At present, I have found 4th and 5th graders who could not read cursive writing, let alone write it, and yet these same students were smart in other subjects. When the school does not supply this part of education, then the parents must do it if they are to expect the child to be able write. I am a believer that training for this skill should start early in life before all the nerve pathways have become set. My early schooling included both printing and cursive writing.

I believe that a student will more likely work at writing if there is a reason and need for it. Unfortunately, in today's world, both typing and handwriting are needed with more emphasis on typing.

As for motivation, study your ancestors. You may find that those who could write progressed more than those who did not. For example, in the military, those who could form sentences and write became Captains while others remained privates. The owner of a general store had to write as well as his clerks. Others were relegated to common labor with no chance of advancement. In the courthouse, lawyers and clerks wrote while others could rise no higher than floor sweepers.

In today's world, most professionals find that at some time, they need to hand write. Those that can not, never rise to the same level.

And now, for my last bit of motivation, there is pride of accomplishment with the ability to do something better than the average person. Sometimes, that ability can make the difference when all else is the same. it can make the difference in who gets the job.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2014 at 4:35AM
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