Kindergarten is an excellent time to use the four steps to penmanship outlined in the Better Letter Primer. The four steps are:
- First, instill the left to right writing direction.
- Second, learn the formation of the 26 letters within the context of the 8 groups.
- Third, learn the formation of the numbers.
- Fourth, practice letters and numbers in their groups.
In addition, parents can provide penmanship coaching
for handwriting practice once the four steps are complete.
Kindergarten Penmanship Issues
There are a few considerations specific to kindergarten handwriting lessons.
- Usually letters are introduced to preschool and kindergarten students with their phonic sounds.
- There is no essential order for introducing the letters, but in general most programs start with the easier and most common sounds. For instance, "m", "t", and "b" are usually near the beginning. More complex and less common letters like "q", "j", and "x" are towards the end.
- Some of the easiest letters to make may be less common, and the more common letters more difficult.
- For instance, "s" is often one of the earliest letters students learn. It has a unique shape. It is a common letter in many two, three, and four letter words. Children easily associate the "s" as a hissing sound of a snake. It's a fun letter.
- But "s" happens to be one of the more difficult letters to form. Therefore it is in the 6th of the 8 groups of the Better Letter Primer.
- On the other hand "i" is a simple letter to form. It is in the first group. But that "i" sound is often learned after "a" and "o".
Another issue is the association between the upper and lower case letters.
- These are usually taught in kindergarten. Card matching is one activity that children can use to identify the upper and lower cases.
- The Better Letter Primer focuses primarily on lower case letters. These are the letters students reverse and the cause of poor penmanship.
Certainly, the Better Letter Primer can be used for teaching this age. We have lined paper for the lessons specifically for kindergarten writing.
However, you may want to consider these options.
- Teach the strokes and the verbal cues in the Better Letter Primer. But teach the letters in the order they are presented in your reading program.
- Wait until the student can identify most of the 26 letters before using the Better Letter Primer.
Many kindergarten students are already familiar with the letters. In this case, you can start the Better Letter Primer the first day of school.
Or you may prefer to wait until the second half of the year to start these kindergarten handwriting lesson.
If you do wait, it still is advised to read through the first three steps. The L2RW handwriting practice
and the 8 Letter Groups
give information and tips you will find helpful when you first introduce a letter.