Handwriting in the earliest grades is linked to basic reading and spelling achievement; for example, when children learn how to form the letter m, they can also be learning its sound. Attention to the linkages among handwriting, reading, and spelling skills can help to reinforce early achievement across these areas.
Labored handwriting creates a drain on mental resources needed for higher-level aspects of writing, such as attention to content, elaboration of details, and organization of ideas. Because handwriting is a basic tool used in many subjects – taking notes, taking tests, and doing classroom work and homework for almost every content area as well as in language arts classes – poor handwriting can have a pervasive effect on school performance.
Moreover, when handwriting is perceived as arduous and time-consuming, motivation to write may be greatly reduced, leading to a lack of practice that may further compound difficulties with writing.
A great way to start learning to write, is to practice tracing across dotted lines. This simple activity is very effective in helping your child learn the correct way of holding the pencil along-with hand-eye coordination to help follow the dots.
Get your child to trace over dotted lines of a picture of a vertical-horizontal cross. Gradually decrease the dotted lines as he improves and finally get him to copy the picture on a blank sheet of paper
For older/ more advanced children, help them cut the outline of a picture and then use it to trace the outline on a blank paper. Help them finish the picture by 'copying' from the original to finish the features of the picture
Disclaimer: This presents an overview of child development. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range of development. This information is presented to help parents understand, at a high level, what to expect from their child. Any questions/concerns you may have about your child’s development should be shared with your doctor.