Seven More Tips to Help Build a Writing Foundation

Whew! There’s so much involved in writing, it sometimes makes me wonder how any of us manage to do it. Enter a learning disability, and it becomes an obstacle course that’s too difficult to maneuver.

But don’t lose hope!

It’s easy to go back and fill in learning gaps that any student might have. You see, as a child develops and the brain forms neural pathways for learning, there can be an interruption.

Maybe the baby had a fever or bumped his head. Or, she might just have a rewiring issue. Not to fear! New neural pathways can be built at any time.

Like I say all the time – it’s easy to go back and fill in those gaps! In my last blog I gave you some basic visual motor integration activities, so today we’re going to the next steps – starting in on those perceptual skills that is crucial for recognizing where to put letters and words onto lines of paper.

1. Coloring and drawing are excellent activities. Of course, most kids with writing issues hate to color and draw, but you can make games out of it or give rewards. Having races to see who can finish a color sheet first. Also, you can get color sheets with your child or student’s favorite characters – superheroes go over well at our schools.

2. Mazes, dot-to-dots, puzzles, find the difference, Highlights Magazine, and similar activities help children orient themselves on a page so they can master those first writing stages.

3. Copying Chinese writing is an excellent way to help with directionality issues so your child can make up and down, diagonal, and sideways marks. They really like doing this, too!

4. A tablet with a stylus is a great way to start with proper pencil control, and kids usually love doing this.

5. Drawing circles, ovals, vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines on a chalkboard or whiteboard hanging on a wall will help your child orient on a bigger space so you can transition into smaller spaces. This also helps with proprioception, which is the unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself.

6. Matching shapes can help children with writing skills. Children need to know how big a shape should be to put on a line; letters and words are shapes.

7. Playing visual memory games like concentration can help kids hold shapes in their minds, which is crucial for writing, as they must remember and recall the shapes (letters and words) that are to be placed for meaning onto paper.

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