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Handwriting: More than a Pencil and Paper

#MaterialMonday - At SJMCC, we emphasize handwriting from day one! There are several different materials that we use to refine the children’s fine motor skills and prepare them for writing. 

Pin-Punching is used as the first step in handwriting. As a child pin-punches and pokes through the paper, they are learning how to properly grasp a pencil, how to apply pressure, and how to control their writing utensil. Pin-Punching begins very simply, usually with just a straight line. As the child develops control, they move onto more complex lines and eventually, to very complex shapes, letters, numbers, or images. This also helps the child develop concentration. Poking the tiny holes in the paper takes a lot of time! 

 We also introduce tracing work early on. Tracing allows a child to refine their grasp, work with a writing utensil (such as a dry erase marker or pencil), and learn to write in different directions, such as vertical, horizontal, diagonals, and curves. This simpler version of tracing prepares the child to trace the letters of their name.

Metal Insets are used to strengthen the muscles needed for writing as well as writing practice. As they trace and color the shapes of the Metal Insets, they are further refining their pincer grasp. They also learn how to color nicely and neatly, which helps the child gain control of the pencil as they try to stay within the boundaries of the shapes. 

All of these skills combine to create beautiful handwriting. Handwriting begins with the tracing of their name. Then, the child is introduced to writing their name independently using the writing paper. Eleanor has mastered handwriting at four years old! Some of our oldest children in Ms. Alex’s class are working on cursive! By spending time refining fine motor skills and scaffolding the process of writing, children are given the tools to be successful writers!

Just look at these beautiful results!

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