I think there is a a very good possibility that handwriting is genetic. The people I know with lovely, neat handwriting all have children with neat, lovely handwriting.
DH’s hand writing is quite good, but unless I try really, really hard ( so not very often) my writing is pretty awful. And so it follows that our children don’t have that naturally fantastic, wonderfully fluent handwriting you see in some of their peers. DD1’s handwriting has always been pretty good but the other two girls have really had to work at theirs. With DS it’s impossible to tell what his will be like just yet, but I doubt he’ll end up making a living as a calligrapher.
I don’t think it helps that our school teaches ‘joined up’ hand writing right from reception. It’s really difficult for the little ones to do this and their early efforts do look a lot like a beetle has crawled through an ink pot. But practice makes perfect and by the time they are in Year 1, most of them can write quite legibly.
This is a sample of DD3’s writing at the end of Year 1.
I have no idea *what* she is writing about except it’s a bit grim! The spelling and punctuation is all over the place, but I don’t think the writing is too bad for a 6 year old.
None of the older girls have ever been that bothered that their handwriting wasn’t all that, but DD3 got a little obsessed about it. One of her friends has seriously beautiful hand writing and DD3 could see the difference between her writing and her friend’s.
My youngest daughter is a bright little girl to whom things tend to come quite easily. And she doesn’t like it when they don’t.
So when she was put in a different handwriting group to her friend at the start of Year 2, we had tears. She ‘hated handwriting’ apparently and was ‘useless at it’. Obviously this is not the case, but there is no point in contradicting children who are trying to tell you that they find something difficult. Instead we talked to the teacher at her parent/teacher consultation and found exactly what she needed to work on, and concentrated on these things.
DD3 has worked really hard at her writing for the last term, and so yesterday, when she came home from school with the good news that she had been moved up a handwriting group, i wasn’t hugely surprised. She was very happy because she is now with her friend, and I’m happy because she has learned a little about what hard work can achieve.
Sometimes I feel that I might be doing this parenting thing right after all.