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DS has sloppy handwriting--Is this a real problem?


momtoboys
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DS #1 who is 7 (first grade) is using ABeka handwriting. We used HWT in K, then ABeka. He simply doesn't care if he stays in the lines or if he's sloppy. Is this really a problem? I am a "pick your battles" type of person.

 

The way I tend to see it is, he's going to be typing most of his life. He will only need to print to fill out a form or something.

 

Or should I force him to be neater. (It is legible, just nothing to brag about!)

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Yes, it's a problem. He's little, so I would expect him not to have really neat handwriting, but yes, good handwriting is still a good skill to have. Even if he only has to fill out forms, those forms need to be legible. It is a battle *I* would choose to fight.

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I'd work on the handwriting. The ability to write legibly and quickly is a valuable skill, and handwriting does make an impression on others. And while you may be able to put up with sloppy handwriting, if he ever does have to go to school, you can be sure that a lot of his work is going to require legible handwriting. Of course, he is only 7 so he will likely improve in the next couple of years.

 

As a side note, we may be typing a lot in twenty years, or we may not. There have been lots of advances with different types of electronic input devices, and it will be interesting to see where that goes. It would be pretty funny if neat handwriting was indispensable to use a computer. I want my children to be prepared either way.

 

Julie D.

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I have an 8 yr old ds who also has legible, but not great handwriting. Rather than fighting the battle for each subject and every assignment, I have picked a few. I nitpick his handwriting on copywork, writing exercises and cursive writing pages. Other than that, if I can read it, I accept it. If I can't, he redoes it. This has eliminated a lot of stress and his handwriting is improving in all the areas.

 

Oh, I also have him correct his own handwriting pages. He gets to pick a color (actually he uses a three color system) and he rips his page apart. He's tougher on himself than I would be, but he handles the correction a lot better.

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With 20/20 hindsight, I would pick the battle NOW! It will be easier to correct sooner rather than later. If I could do it all over again, I would have taken him to an occupational therapist for assistance. I went through a year of remedial handwriting in 6th grade with ds. Dh is going through remedial handwriting with ds this year (8th). Ds has to hand in occasional homework for his outsourced history class, and they are frequently returned as illegible. :angry: Fix the bad habits sooner rather than later.

 

My 2c.

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My dd11 and ds6 both have struggles with handwriting. Every year since PreK we tried to supplement and practice, practice, practice...but to no avail. Yes it is true that some people just don't have nice handwriting, but it does need to be legible. We ran into problems with math when she couldn't even read her own numbers which caused lots of errors. She knew how to do the problem but how can you add several three digit numbers and get the right answer if you can't even read the numbers. Sigh! :confused: Someone told me once that it would get better after they learn cursive, and I have to say it did help. We have also found that with her and with ds6 that if you have them write smaller, it gets neater. I have my little guy using college ruled notebook paper and it has made things so much better. It is a battle worth fighting, it may help, it may not, but at least you'll be able to look back and say you really tried. Best of luck:001_smile:

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i also struggle with this with my ds (8). I require him to do his best, and it is legible, but not by any means what I would call pretty. My dd (4) has handwriting as good if not better than his. Interestingly, he has started cursive, and this seems to be much better for him, so I intend to make sure he has mastery of one or the other, and can write his letters well enough to be legible in printing.

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Here's how I have worked on tehe handwriting issue with ds who not only doesn't care, but was behind in fine motor development.

 

At first, he only had to work hard to stay in the lines in handwriting, but not every single subject. That way I wasn't letting it slide, but wasn't pushing him in every subject (plus, he really couldn't then.) Now I work on it in more subjects, but he's also 9. I have to be able to read it. He can't write too large (his normal way, but he can't fit his answers in) or too small (he's tried that, too.)

 

At first, I didn't worry about his handwriting in copy work, I just wanted him to spell correctly. Now we're working on legibility, too.

 

fwiw, I found HWT much easier to use because there are only 2 lines to worry about, not 3 or 4, but also for other reasons.

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