Handwriting in Lower Elementary

Handwriting is an important part of Montessori language arts curriculum. In Lower Elementary, writing is taught through a logical, step-by-step process. Because children differ in their level of coordination and small muscle development essential for writing, they progress as their mastery permits. Students have instruction, practice, and opportunity to improve their writing skills so they can feel proud of neat and quality writing work.

The Montessori early childhood curriculum provides preparation for handwriting, such as exercising the pincer grip and practicing mechanical skills of handwriting through several exercises including gripping Knobbed Cylinders, moving the Number Rods, tracing the Sandpaper Letters, and using the Movable Alphabet. Students in Lower Elementary add exercises that require increased dexterity, including pin punching continents, which helps strengthen the hand for controlled writing.

Lower Elementary students use pencils with grips and lined paper for words and graph paper for math, which help them to refine their writing skills. When students check in their work with the guide, comprehension of the topic and handwriting form are both reviewed. Checking in helps students learn that they are now writing to communicate. Through these meaningful handwriting exercises, writing becomes legible.

Handwriting is a life skill that enables children to communicate with pen or pencil on paper. Later in the elementary curriculum, typing will be introduced. All students learn to write deftly with pen or pencil before advancing to typing.

The best ways to help your child improve his or her handwriting is to model handwriting and encourage your child to write frequently. You can practice writing with your child at home through the following:
  • Grocery lists
  • Menus
  • Daily or weekly schedules
  • Stories
  • Greeting cards
  • Letters to family members who live far away
  • Items to pack for  vacation
  • Wish lists