Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Does your first grader have terrible handwritting?

My dd has terrible handwritting I am not sure if she is not comfortable holding the pencil or what?

When I get upset with her (believe me I try not to) her hand seems to shake like maybe she is afraid to mess up, I tell her to take her time and relax and think about what she is doing.

She also has trouble sounding out the letters...If you are going through the same thing and came up with a solution..Can someone please point me to the right direction on this.

I greatly appreciate it...Thank you for listening.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:07 PM on Sep. 24, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (5)
  • I homeschool, and my daughter is on 2nd grade this year. She went to public school for kindergarter, though. Last year, her handwriting was HORRIBLE! I got a program called "handwriting Without Tears" (, and it helped quite a bit. I also made her practice, and I'd sit beside her and repeatedly (and very slowly) write the letters (using a sheet of her paper).

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean about sounding out letters. If you mean more like reading words, I think many kids are still confused by the vowel sound at that age. Long vowels, short vowels, r-controlled vowels, "ea", "ie", etc....... It's alot to try to "sound out" until they learn all of the little "rules".

    Answer by amy_k_in_pa at 7:08 PM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • Of course my 1st grader's handwriting is bad....she's 6. She's just learning to write. It takes practice to write neatly and even then it's like a crap shoot with kids. My oldest actually had beautiful penmanship in 1st grade. She wrote neatly and made all her letters correctly. She's in 4th grade now and I can't even read her writing. She actually writes neater in cursive but it's still very messy. If you compared her 4th grade printing to her 1st grade printing you would see that the 4th grade stuff looks like a 4yo wrote it and you would think the 1st grade printing was done by a 10yo. She refuses to make her work any neater and just doesn't care.
    My son is in 2nd this year and last year his writing was horrible. His teacher was constantly marking off for messy writing. This year his writing is nearly perfect (when he tries).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:54 PM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • We homeschool. When I notice our 6yo has trouble with certain letters, I plan to make that part of what he works on the following week for handwriting. (This week we did U and Q because he makes his lowercase u's like w's - he makes the tails too long, and he wasn't doing the Q well.) He likes to hurry through it but I tell him to do a good job and take his time. A lot of his letters have improved immensely with me just working on them with him one or two letters a week as I notice they need work.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:10 AM on Sep. 25, 2009

  • Is it possible that your daughter's handwriting is normal for a first grader? When my son started 1st grade I was like "holy crap you have messy writing"---however he's my oldest and it's been a while since I was around a 1st grader! I spoke to his teacher about it during our conference adn it turned out it was a little messy but basically on par with other kids in his class. His writing is getting better now (in 2nd grade)---just takes time. Have to remember they are just kids. Although I don't homeschool I would do similar things like ANON12:10---practice with letters or words that seem a littler messier than others. If it's the entire alphabet do a different letter every couple of days. Good luck.

    Answer by lissa27504 at 12:35 PM on Sep. 25, 2009

  • Sometimes messy handwriting can be linked to poor fine motor skills or vision problems. Fine motor skills can be built through activities like cutting, coloring, gluing, playing with Legos, and using a hole punch. (The old, silver metal kind)

    Has her vision been checked? My sister teaches elementary school and she has said some of her kids have trouble writing because they have trouble seeing.


    Answer by mommyjenny2009 at 3:55 PM on Sep. 27, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.