How To Improve Handwriting: Developing Childs Handwriting Through Montessori Method.

how to improve handwriting

While most kids these days are learning to type everything instead of writing it by hand, handwriting is still a skill many people need to use every day. Good handwriting can make all the difference, whether you’re writing a note, filling out forms at the doctor’s office, or filling in a crossword puzzle.

However, teaching a child to write effectively can be difficult for some parents. Handwriting is a complex skill that requires a lot of fine motor control and concentration. This is especially true for younger children, whose brains are still developing. While teaching a child to write can be difficult, there are many strategies and approach you can implement to make it easier. One method that is known for being unique yet effective is the Montessori Method. Using the Montessori method focuses on developing fine motor skills and concentration through repetitive, guided practice. Here’s how it works and how to utilize it to teach a child to improve handwriting. But before we proceed, we need first to understand why handwriting is important.

Why Handwriting Is Essential?

Handwriting is an important life skill that helps with many aspects of life, including: 

  • Children who can write with fluency and clarity will be able to use writing to record their thoughts and ideas. This will help them with verbal communication, independent thought, reasoning, and their ability to read.
  • This skill also has a significant impact on the academic success of students. Children who can write are likely to be better prepared for academic work. For example, cursive handwriting and expressive writing help with comprehension and comprehension tests like the SAT writing test.
  • Handwriting is critical for adults to be able to read printed documents. This skill can enable the reader to process information quickly and efficiently, understand more about what’s being conveyed, and write down new ideas more easily.
  • Handwriting skills are needed to perform a variety of tasks later in life, including writing birthday cards and signing important documents.

How To Help A Child Improve His Handwriting?

Developing a child’s handwriting skills through the Montessori approach follows a different pattern than we see in traditional ways. Before a child can attempt to form a letter or a word, he must first be able to develop his fine motor skills. Here is how you can go about training a child to improve his handwriting through the Montessori method.

1. Strengthening the Small Muscles

strengthening the small muscles

The small muscles of a child’s hand are the ones he needs to develop in order to be able to form letters and words. Children also need to have fluid movement in these small muscles to control their movements as they write. Before approaching letter or word formation, you need to help a child concentrate on strengthening these muscles through general exercises that he can do at home or school. This will help increase the precision and speed with which these movements occur.

As soon as an infant begins using the pincer grasp (showing the ability to hold small objects between thumb and first finger), he can now engage in some Montessori-aligned activities such as:

  • playing with playdoh
  • stacking blocks
  • working with simple knobbed puzzles
  • use of play sand, a kiddy pool filled with water, etc.
  • Hand exercises such as making a fist and spreading his fingers 

Doing these activities will help strengthen the small muscles of his hand.

2. Proper Pencil Grip

Fine motor skills involve both strength and precision. Montessori materials, such as the Montessori Knobbed Cylinders, are presented in a very specific way so that children can practice proper pencil grip long before they start drawing and writing. If children continue to grasp the materials with their whole hands, guides will gently demonstrate the proper way to pick them up and allow children to try again.

3. Make Use of Sandpaper Letters

make use of sandpaper letters

Sandpaper letters will help a child become familiar with each letter’s feel, look, and sound and practice the strokes needed to form them. Give your child a set of sandpaper letters and ask him to trace them as often as possible. You should help him trace them by pulling his hand in the correct movements, then letting him copy you before he does it on his own. 

Later, children will trace these textured letters with two fingers and then try to repeat the shapes with a pen or pencil in hand. But before they get there, they will use an alternative way to write – the Moveable Alphabet.

4. The Movable Alphabet

Dr. Maria Montessori realized that kids could understand how to string symbols that represent sounds together to form words long before their fine motor skills allowed them to write legibly. A movable alphabet is a set of cardboard letters that rest on interlocking dowels. This way, children can learn the correct order of letter formation by moving the letters in a certain order. They start with individual letter formation, then string words together. 

Engaging with the moveable alphabet allows children to practice writing as communication as they continue to enhance their handwriting readiness.

5. Consider Using Metal Insets

use metal insets

When children exhibit improved pencil control, it is time for them to start forming the lines and shapes necessary to write letters. However, like most Montessori works, it is done methodically. The first step is to use metal insets. Children trace inside a set of metal insets to improve their pre-writing strokes. The insets come in sets of different shapes, including circles, squares, and triangles. Children use a pencil to trace the shape onto paper, then remove the paper from under the metal inset to create a clean line. They can then fill in their drawing with crayons or paint pens.

The abovementioned are the patterns being followed in Montessori Academy to help students develop their handwriting skills.

Support Your Child At Home

Your children’s school is not the only place where you should focus on their handwriting skills. When they return home, encourage them to practice as much as possible. 

Have them trace the sandpaper letters and other materials with a finger first before using a pencil or crayon to copy them. This will help improve their control over the movements that come more naturally to toddlers and preschoolers rather than using a pencil right off the bat. 

Encourage your child to do activities that promote fine motor development and practice daily. These activities include:

These activities will help improve their grasping and fine motor skills, which are essential in helping them improve their handwriting skills.

In helping your child enhance their handwriting skills using the Montessori approach, you may also show them how to write letters properly. To do this, you can help by demonstrating how to hold a pencil correctly. You can demonstrate the proper way to grasp a pencil by taking hold of it with your thumb and index finger, wrapping them around the center of the pencil. 

Montessori emphasizes that the process of learning should be fluid and engaging to keep children motivated. This means you have to find multiple ways to teach handwriting and make it fun for your child. For example, switch up how you present materials instead of asking your child to do the same thing over again. Ask him to trace a letter backward, or employ a fun game like tracing a letter on your forehead and having him try to copy it correctly.

Final Thoughts

Handwriting is a complex skill that requires coordination, persistence, and dedication to learn. While there are many different exercises and techniques that you can do to help your child become better at writing and drawing, the Montessori approach offers parents a methodical way to help their children develop these skills.

This article aimed to present parents with information on why handwriting is important in children’s development and how they can use Montessori Materials to enhance their own child’s development. 

In Montessori Academy, we understand that handwriting is the foundation of many other skills, including reading and writing. We work with each child to ensure that they are developing their fine motor skills in a way that will allow them to write well for the rest of their lives. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help your child with handwriting, please contact us at (310) 215 -3388 for Culver City and (323) 795-0200 for West Adams.


Leave a Reply