54

First, I would ask him about why he doesn't like writing his name. Is it boring? Is it too hard? Is it too repetitive? Etc. Once you know why he doesn't like it, you can work on helping him, either by working with the teacher/school to make adjustments or by helping him practice or otherwise addressing the issue. If I were to hazard a guess, it sounds ...


51

I have still not identified my dominant hand, and I'm 66 years old. I voluntarily switched from left to right for writing when I was 7, and was going to have to start using pen-and-ink instead of pencil. Generally, I use whichever hand I learned with for a given task. The only significant problem is that I started using scissors in my left hand. It would ...


44

Ambidexterity can be a very positive thing, however that uncertainty at early school levels can be a problem both for teachers, and for your child if you are trying to help them improve their handwriting. A choice you can make if the child really doesn't show any preference is to decide on one and teach them to use that hand for writing consistently. This ...


34

There are a lot of different things that might help, depending on the child, but ultimately what has to change is the child's choice to pay attention to details. I had pretty poor handwriting as a child, while otherwise being academically gifted, and my parents tried several different approaches - having me write lines and learning calligraphy being the two ...


21

If he's writing ‘joined-up’ (cursive), has he considered switching back to printing (writing each letter separately)? Printing has a reputation for being much slower and looking ‘childish’, but in my experience the speed difference is minimal once you're practised, and its not only clearer but also degrades much better at speed. My handwriting was always ...


17

If my son came back from school two days in a row telling me that he had to "write his name a lot", I'd ask him the following: How many times is "a lot"? Why did you have to write your name so much? Was everybody else writing their names too (class activity)? Or was it just you (punishment)? Did you show your work to the teacher? Then, depending on the ...


15

Some people have physical or neurological issues that make handwriting difficult, including hyper-mobile joints and dyspraxia. Telling these people that they just need to slow down and taking more care isn't really helpful. Yes, they can write better if they slow down, but this simply shifts the disadvantage from unreadable writing to needing more time, and ...


14

It's entirely possible your child is ambidextrous, but I think the other answerers are jumping the gun a bit. First off, 'handedness' is not a binary (or trinary) thing: it's a continuum. Some people are essentially 100% right handed, some 100% left, and some are ... mixed. I'm in that range. I'm mostly right handed - I do everything right handed that ...


13

A couple of things first: This is definitely not a boy thing It is not something you should be paranoid about There are many reasons that children dislike doing things like this. The main one is that they were told to do it. Around that sort of age kids love doing all sorts of things, but typically if they are told to do it, especially a few times in a row,...


10

A common method to find out which hand is dominant is to observe which hand someone uses intuitively when they try to catch something. Take a small item, tell your son to "catch!" and throw it in his direction. When there are no consistent results, your son might be ambidextrous. This is uncommon, but often a good thing because it usually correlates with an ...


9

This may not be the most scholarly article devoted to the subject, but it has been borne out again and again in well-developed studies: reading to your child id one of the most beneficial activities one can do with children after the obvious basics (food/shelter/love). Above and beyond the child gaining confidence that she matters to you (because of the ...


9

What works for us is large pencils. There are pencils that are about double or so the normal diameter of a pencil; they're easier for smaller children to hold and control, with less developed fine motor control. Some even will have a slightly different shape (triangular). Ultimately the problem isn't how dark the lines are, but that it's simply hard to ...


7

A good starting resource is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handedness To help you discover the state-of-handedness of your son, some methods are mentioned here, specifically; a Purdue Pegboard Test can objectively measure motor accuracy.


7

You should keep in mind that children, especially very young children, learn best when directed by their own interests and their own individual abilities. A lot of what might be considered a best practice when teaching a group of children simply isn't applicable in an individual setting. My personal opinion, based on observing my daughter learn to write, ...


6

There are several activities involved in learning good handwriting. The first is simply hand-eye coordination. How well is your son able to color inside lines, tie his shoes, button shirts, etc? If he has issues with that sort of thing, give him activities where he manipulates small objects - say, sorting different kinds of beans, colors, or does dot-to-dot ...


6

I think anongoodnurse's answer is excellent, and I just want to supplement it by pointing to some research on ways to support early pre-reading skills. Most of the research on this topic is with children older than your daughter (3-6yrs, usually). But age means a lot less than her own interest and ability, so if you feel like she's engaged and ready then ...


6

As a left hander the biggest problems I had were: As your hand moves along it obscures the text you just wrote. You tend to smudge it. This is less of an issue for a pencil, but once you start using ink of any kind it becomes a major problem (I was required to use a fountain pen, so my life was filled with smudges and blots). These two problems can only be ...


5

I have some experience with literacy, and not much experience with writing. This advice is picked up from listening in on literacy teachers' strategy sessions. Here are my suggestions: Not to worry. He's writing already -- he's ahead of other 4-year-olds -- when he gets into kindergarten and first grade, this will probably all work itself out. It's not ...


5

I think you are spending too much time on this. I admire that you want your child to succeed, but there are many ways to encourage fine motor without doing the same tasks for an hour. Use tweezers and tongs to pick up objects and place them in a bowl or bottle. Sort by colour or size or shape while you are at it. Paint -- with paint or water. Colour, use ...


5

I have absolutely grotty handwriting. It hasn't gotten any better since I was a kid, and it probably never will get better. I can tell you why my handwriting is so lousy, and maybe that will give you some insight into why your son has bad handwriting. First and foremost is that writing is too slow. I cannot write as fast as my thoughts run. By the time I'...


4

Figuring out your dominant hand is correlated with fine motor development. Your son isn't delayed, because there is a wide natural range of development he is still well within. Kindergarten used to be largely about working on fine motor skills as a prerequisite to writing, but unfortunately, schools have started to push writing younger and younger, when ...


4

When writing becomes automatic enough that they want to write their stories down. At your daughter's age, I was the same way - told lots of stories but refused to write them down. The reason was simply because writing still took a lot of effort, so much that I couldn't get the creative juices flowing while trying to write things down. At six, your daughter ...


4

The teachers are not paying as much attention as you are with homework -- if nothing else because they have to deal with many students, and cannot work one-on-one all day with him. Without that constant encouragement he reverts, producing easier, faster, and sloppier work. Arguing with the standards (generally set by the state, not the district or school, ...


4

I also think this is not a boy thing and that it is nothing to worry about. Printing as this age is work. I also do not like signing my name and on some days, it just feels like they want you to do a lot of it. If this is a particularly busy day of signing his name, I understand -- it isn't fun. It's work. In my case, it's arthritis. In his case I am betting,...


4

Try a little psychology. Get him to do some artwork. He probably won't sign his name. Then "Wonder who drew this nice picture?" Then get him to put his name on it. Mail some pictures to Grandmas and aunts and be sure his name is on it. Be sure to have them write back and tell him thank you and they'll always know who it is from him because his name is on ...


4

Would this not be a perfect opportunity to help him learn his very first lesson in, "well, sometimes we have to do things we don't like, but that's also part of life?" Life is going to be full of boring, uninteresting, repetitive things, like taking out trash, doing laundry, paying taxes, paying bills, cleaning house....to me, this is a great opportunity to ...


4

I don't think there is a cut and dried answer to this; but my experience from a Montessori background is closer to write, but still not that either. The difficulty with learning to write them is that writing is hard physically, the fine motor motions are difficult to make at that age. In a Montessori environment, the Sandpaper Letters are the way they ...


3

I am 61 years old. When aged 6, I broke my left arm. Through grade 3 I would write using the hand that was most "convenient", as in which side of the paper the writing utensil sat. I also wrote on blackboards most often with my right hand. Today, I write and eat left-handed, but play most sports right-handed. I do housework with either, which is ...


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