The Trick to Pencil Grip (for Small Hands)
Forming the right foundation when learning how to write is essential. Let's discover the trick to Pencil Grip (for small hands).
Children, especially boys, often have difficulty with pencil grip, writing within the lines, being even with their letter formation, and will complain of pain.
Small motor control is governed in the brain and is a cognitive function. It is what allows us to work “small” and within confined areas, with our hands. This cognitive skill requires readiness.
When we push a child beyond readiness, we can cause great frustration, anger, and actual hand pain. As the child tries to stay within lines, they often grip their pencil in an awkward fashion and by exerting great pressure and weight, while attempting to gain greater control in their work. It is slow-going and takes tremendous concentration.
If you are finding difficulties teaching your child how to write then it's time you learned the rick to the pencil grip!
One negative result that can show up is placing pressure on a child who needs their brain to develop and catch up. When this happens they will self-label, associating drawing and writing in negative of terms. “I am a lousy writer. I stink at school. I’m no good at this.” Labelling can persist over time, becoming a road-block in the young learner’s life.
A trail of success is essential in paving the way forward. The child needs to grow readiness and cognitive fitness through a training process. Neuropathway connections occur when we introduce the child to a gradual system of development.
Here are 10 tips for Pencil grip!
- Start the child working big – a large white board. Just practice making loops and peaks. The brain will relax and take in the formation of the movements.
- After a time ( a week) – Begin writing letters on the same white board. Use dry erase markers (large). Give guidance in terms of grip style. Do not use lines on the white board. Do not worry about straightness, size of letters, etc. Free movement is important.
- After a time (a week) – Introduce horizontal lines, spaced 6 inches apart. Practice writing within the lines on the white board, using dry erase markers.
- As the child masters writing in the provided area (take your time), begin to narrow the distance between lines. 6” to 5” , 5” to 4”, and so on. Give guidance and reminders on the grip style.
- Once the child masters writing between 1” lines, move to a scribbler, first writing within double spaced area. Change to writing with a soft leaded pencil that does not require a lot of pressure to get a vivid marking.
- Provide much encouragement and patience.
- Do not make writing exercises last too long. Ask the child to give their best effort for 10 minutes. Time it so they have a sense of hope and courage to maintain their efforts determinedly.
- Eventually, move to a standard line as you see readiness.
- If you have a reluctant writer, remember that creativity/information writing is formed first in the mind. Do not confuse the mechanics of writing with composition. Allow your child to verbally tell you a story, for example, while you act as a scribe, writing it down. Let them know they are an author. You’ve merely written down what they composed in their head.
- Treat spelling and the mechanics separately from composition, so as to keep the enthusiasm for story-telling alive.
Learning to write is the open door to a future of stories, adventures and more for your child. Learning how to rightly hold the pencil will help your child flourish in their homeschooling journey.