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

(minimum 6 characters)

How can I get my 1st grader to write legibly?

I geve her a sentence to write and it was horrible, I told her to rewrite it but neater and she threw a little fit but did it anyway but this time I told her to take her time.

And guess what she did alot better...I don't get it at first I thought maybe she just needs to practice it's like she is afraid to press down on the pencil I tell her it is ok to press down but not too hard bc your pencil with break from the tip.
Any other ideas?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:35 PM on Jan. 27, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (10)
  • It's too young to expect most kids to write well.

    Answer by Gailll at 8:36 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • Yes it is too young to expect that.

    Plus I get the feeling she is getting stress. Just image someone hanging over you when you are writing and tell you do this or don't do this. It looks aweful. You will feel just crappy about your work. Just like everything else you need pratice and it will not happen over night. When she does write say something nice about a letter or even a word. That really makes you feel better and want to try harder.

    Answer by Raeann11 at 8:44 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • at that age they are still learning to write neatly. i would just have her practice. also, explain that if the teacher cannot read her answers she won't know if they are right so she will miss the points. come up with reasons for her to write. Have her write cards for people, make lists, write stories, write poems, write songs, etc. Make family projects....there could be art stuff/crafty stuff that goes along with the story. Like have her make pictures and all that of her stories. That way its not just writing to write and there are fun activities to go along with the writing.

    Answer by aly38914290 at 8:45 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • I'm not sure I agree that it is too young to write neatly. I think a first grader can learn to write very nicely, but maybe the key is she's too young to be under too much pressure. Think of ways that will help her take pride in her work. When I was little (and a homeschooler) we used to have pretty bordered paper that we would get to write a verse on when our handwriting was nice. That was special, and I took pride in writing as neatly as I could. Good luck, mama!

    Answer by Adelicious at 8:58 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • our kindergartner in sept wrote horribly.... now it's neat. She writes in class, makes up her own sentences and has 10 min. of handwriting homework 4x/week. practice practice practice.

    Answer by lynnard at 12:20 AM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • my 1st grader gets so excited that she CAN write that its a mess. finally she can write things that aren't just scribbles across a page!

    just encourage her to slow down and pay attention to what she's writing and not just the fact that she IS writing.

    as soon as my dd slowed down, and paid attention it was much more legible.


    Answer by hypermamaz at 9:03 AM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • My 4th grader has horrible handwriting - I wish I had taken the time to work with him more when he was younger, but I was a single mom working 50-60 hours/week and when I saw my kids I just wanted to spend time with them. However, he has learned cursive in school and it's beautiful! I think mainly it's because he has to really think about how to form the letters as he is writing, it definitely slows him down.
    You've seen that she CAN write neatly is she slows down, but most kids don't want to spend time writing - they'd rather be playing! When her teachers start expecting neater writing and stressing the importance, she will get it.

    Answer by missanc at 1:34 PM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • I'm not sure that first grade is too young to write neatly. We are working with our kindergartner with his writing. He just gets too rushed. I think just letting her know that she can take her time is a good point to start. Give her things to write and tell her to take her time doing it. She'll find her own point from there as far has how light or dark to write. Praise her when she does really well. Go to the dollar store and get a package of stickers for a buck and use them as rewards.
    Cafe Jenn

    Answer by Cafe Jenn at 2:33 PM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • I would not listen to Gailll on this she doesn't think kids should be taught to read or write until they are

    I bought a fun workbook for my son. It has silly stories and he had to figure out the correct words to finish the sentences and was able to practice his writing. We gave stickers everytime he could do it neatly. He is in second grade and his hand writing is better than most 6th graders. They can do it you just have to encourage them and find a way to make it fun for them. We have a dry erase board my son when he was 4 loved to write on that. He was still writing really big then but he was able to practice his writing skills.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:42 PM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • Maybe her handwriting IS neat for a first grader? I thought my first graders handwriting was messy until I was talking to his teacher and she was bragging that he had the neatest handwriting in the class. She's still learning and will get it down eventually.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:43 AM on Jan. 29, 2010

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