Posted tagged ‘handwriting’

Kindergarten penmanship– and a contest!

January 19, 2010

The Pediatric Insider

© 2010 Roy Benaroch, MD

Katie’s son has a kindergarten teacher that’s worried about his handwriting: “I have a 5.5 year old who loves kindergarten and is doing great in all subjects except handwriting. His teacher says he is behind the other kids and has suggested that I take him to get evaluated by an occupational therapist.” Mom says his handwriting is “legible, but not great,” and wonders if there are unreasonable expectations at his high-performing school.

Handwriting and penmanship are not skills that should be stressed in kindergarten. Kids ought to be coloring and doing mazes and painting and practicing hand-eye skills, but not by drilling and practicing letters all day. A kindergartener with handwriting that’s legible is already ahead of the game.

As I’ve written about before, schools have gone overboard with early academics and are stressing out kids and parents. Psychologists, occupational therapists, neurologists, developmental specialists, pediatricians, vision experts– we’re all involved now, and many children have multiple specialists to manage their academic shortcomings. Some children do need and benefit from early intervention for learning disabilities and other school problems, but that ought to be the exception, not the rule. Every child doesn’t need an evaluation, diagnosis, and therapy.

As long as your child’s handwriting doesn’t look like this, he’ll be fine. Even if it does, he can grow up to be a pediatrician!

Announcing The “Guess What Roy Wrote” contest!

The first person to post a comment deciphering even one of the three things on my hand-written todo list will get a free copy of one of my books! Enter as many times as you’d like, just post your guess as a comment below. My wife is disqualified, as is my kindergarten teacher.