This month, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming members of our community, community leaders and personalities as well as family members for “Love of Reading Week.” It’s always a thrill to see a student connect with a book reader and discover a whole new world. But what about that “second R” in the “Reading, ’Riting and ’Rithmetic” – writing?

Some children might be great readers, but when it comes to expressing a thought on paper, chalkboard or computer screen, they freeze. For some children, it’s something that they might learn how to do better as they advance in age and in school and get more practice, but for other children, it’s a disorder – dysgraphia – that prevents them from writing as well as they might.

Younger children may avoid writing or drawing, have trouble forming letters and be inconsistent spacing between letters or words or have a poor understanding of uppercase and lowercase letters. School-age children might have illegible handwriting, speak words as they write and focus so hard on writing that comprehension is lost.

Just because your child has trouble writing, doesn’t mean he or she has dysgraphia. You can find more information about dysgraphia in English and Spanish here at Reading Rockets and the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Here are some tips:

  • Allow the child to print or write in cursive, whichever is more comfortable and causes less stress.
  • Use large graph paper for math assignments, to keep columns and rows neat.
  • Focus on what the child is trying to write about and tackle the spelling, punctuation and neatness later.
  • Help your child create a checklist for written assignments to make sure spelling, neatness, grammar, syntax and word comprehension aren’t missed.