Handwriting Part 1: How it Relates to Reading

Plus Simple Solutions for Poor Handwriting

by Nora Chahbazi

When I first speak to parents and teachers about handwriting, the general consensus is that it’s a bit antiquated and there isn’t much point to the instruction. This isn’t everyone, mind you, but the majority. I'd like to address why handwriting is crucial and how it connects with reading.

It turns out, proper handwriting grip and letter formation play a big role in being an effective reader. There is a lot of good research out there on the subject, but one of the most comprehensive and effective sources – in my opinion – is Peterson Handwriting.

Peterson Handwriting created simple prompts to assist students in forming letters and numbers. The wording in these prompts correlates with the movement the writer uses to form each stroke.  For many years, we have used the Peterson prompts embedded within EBLI instruction, taught them to EBLI-trained teachers, and built them into our EBLI Apps. The following are some of the positive side effects that we’ve seen in our students as a result:
  • Correct letter formation (top to bottom, left to right)

  • Faster writing fluency – which can positively impact reading fluency

  • Increased attention span

  • Improved focus

  • Improved impulse control

  • Proper sequencing (doing tasks in correct order)

  • Handwriting that looks good and is easy to read

Learn more about Peterson Handwriting and what you can do to help improve your student’s handwriting in the following video:

If you’re wondering what Peterson Handwriting instruction looks like with students, click here for a short video of handwriting corrections during EBLI instruction with several different students.

I’ve been fortunate to get to know Rand Nelson from Peterson Handwriting over the past several years and we interact regularly. He is passionate about handwriting and the benefits for children who are taught how to write correctly.  In Part 2 of our handwriting series, you’ll hear from him directly.  He will expand upon why handwriting is important and share his wealth of knowledge on the subject plus how you can predict children's reading ability by handwriting speed. He'll also talk about his own grandchildren using Peterson Handwriting in the EBLI apps.

We’d also love to hear from you about your handwriting experiences with your child(ren) and/or students in the comments section below.

  • Have you or someone you know used the EBLI apps and done the handwriting?
  • Have you taught Peterson Handwriting in your class?
  • Has your child been taught handwriting at OOPRC?
  • What changes have you noticed?

Also please share any questions you may have or would like to see addressed by Rand in our next blog post.

Do you want to learn even more about handwriting?  Click here for a detailed webinar I did on handwriting and why it’s important.  It offers a sneak peek into the lifetime instructional support (through the online EBLI Member’s Area) that is provided with EBLI training.

Be sure to also check out Part 2 of our handwriting blog series with guest blogger Rand Nelson of Peterson Handwriting.

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As always, THANK YOU for reading, commenting, sharing, and being an integral part of the EBLI community!

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2 thoughts on “

  1. Thanks for the great handwriting video Nora! The EBLI white board activities are a perfect illustration of how handwriting skills can be correlated into the reading/language curriculum. The instructional strategy is key to achieving all of the benefits you detail. Attention problems and a lack of fluency go hand in hand down the hall to the support classroom in far too many instances when the strategy for learning and teaching is "Trace & Copy." Learning to move with the voice as the prompts are chanted creates a challenge that is both engaging and motivating. It is practice of the "FLUENT" kind of movement allowing the motor system to internalize the timing and rhythms of the movements that create "Physical Language" and allow improved processing of symbolic language in all of its forms, spelling, reading and composition. There is a big difference between drawing letters and fluent handwriting. That difference is a focus on fluency.

  2. Shannon Olsen

    Peter and Hannah, what an amazing job on the short video of handwriting corrections. It really is comprehensive (and short, which I like). We have an amazingly talented staff here at EBLI Headquarters and I appreciate very much being a member of such a dynamic team.
    I love this blog!!
    When students change their handwriting in this way I always see immediate results. I see it daily when working with students here at Ounce of Prevention / EBLI.
    Thanks for all this valuable information, Nora, and mostly for giving it to us in a way that we are able to apply it immediately to make our lives easier!!


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