Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How do I get my child to write legibly?

Ms. Dorothy,
I have been working with _______ on his writing. I even offered to pay him to practice. He is simply not interested in practicing writing neatly. Suggestions?
- Poppa

Writing legibly is about writing so that someone else can read what you have written. It is a courtesy that is focused on the reader, and it is a dying art.

It is easy to say that we "should" and "we always did," but the truth is that there are fewer and fewer  places in our lives where writing for an audience is required.

It is important to give some serious consideration to when, where, and how often we actually write these days, and how often it is likely that writing will be needed in the future. 

If you can name some practical places where it is necessary to write by hand, show those to him so that he can see how you use your neat writing. Just bear in mind that an electronic signature, and the ability to use a virtual keyboard are more likely to be necessities in his later years.

Help him find a pen-pal to exchange letters with in the mail.  Have him write to a favorite author or artist. Just try not to let him get email or text addresses.

Keep painting with him and developing the strength and grace in his arm and hand muscles. And try sending his bribes through the postal service in exchange for handwritten thank you notes!

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