By Allison Gardenswartz, Consulting Educator
My son is very smart. He is reading at a third-grade level and very good in all other subjects, but his penmanship is poor. He puts no effort into it. It's always very sloppy, and I know he can do better. How do I motivate him to write better?
Handwriting can be a challenge for students, particularly boys. Motor skills develop at different stages and some students are never neat writers, despite all of their efforts. In the age of computers, this is less of a problem. Yet, we still want your son to learn proper letter formation and to be able to write legibly when need be. Here are a few tips to try:
Finally, try the reward system to motivate him. Be sure to comment when you see neat work and offer incentives for legible writing. Small positive rewards work beautifully: computer time after school, a quick stop at the park to play or bedtime pushed back 15 minutes. Involve your son in choosing the reward for putting effort into his writing so that he wants to improve. Writing can certainly be cumbersome for some, so it is important to be supportive and encouraging to help him succeed.
Advice from our experts is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment from a health-care provider or learning expert familiar with your unique situation. We recommend consulting a qualified professional if you have concerns about your child's condition.
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