Developing Children's Handwriting: Beliefs about Handwriting
© Beverley Paine
[an excerpt from Developing Children's Handwriting, a Practical Homeschooling Booklet, by Beverley Paine, available from Always Learning Books.]
In any learning situation how we behave is a reflection of our beliefs. Successful
outcomes depend upon having realistic expectations and goals. It is important to
determine what is most important to you when planning activities to develop your
children’s handwriting skills.
The following set of beliefs about learning and handwriting can be used as a guide:
- Learning needs to be uncomplicated and whole, not a collection of fragmented,
- Learning needs to be related to real tasks, and have personal meaning for the
learner. Children learn to write by writing. Opportunities to develop handwriting
need to include a variety of writing experiences in different settings, for different
purposes and audiences, and be tailored to the individual’s learning styles and
- Writing is a means of self-exploration and expression, as well as communication.
- Learning is the responsibility of the learner, and needs to have input and control
over the process. This is aided by having access to the tools, information and
resources necessary to the learning task.
- Learning occurs in a safe, stimulating and supportive environment, where stress and
pressure is reduced to a minimum and success is celebrated.
- Consistent development of a fluent and legible handwriting style and technique is
essential to facilitate handwriting as a communication tool.
- Handwriting develops best in an environment where handwriting is valued and
demonstrated, and practice is encouraged without threat of criticism. Practice is the
context of approximation (mistakes are a natural consequence of learning), and
positive feedback is essential to successful learning outcomes.
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