My son's teacher says his handwriting is horrible and she can't read it. How can I help him at home?

Often poor handwriting is the result of underdeveloped fine motor muscles in the hand. Purchase pencil grips for use at home and school. The pencil grip will help your son hold the pencil correctly and in the proper position. There are also many exercises that you can utilize to improve fine motor skills. Tasks such as stringing beads, wringing out sponges (to strengthen hand muscles), playing keyboard toys, using tweezers, writing on an easel (vertical surface), making clay balls, and practicing with buttons, snaps and zippers, and picking up 3 to 5 coins with his thumb and forefinger to improve dexterity. You can also purchase a handwriting booklet and have him practice his penmanship at home a couple of days a week. You’ll find these not only in teacher and book stores, but also in children or learning sections of many other general, department and drug stores. Practice sheets are also available online to download and print (some for free). Enter a search such as, “handwriting practice sheets for children,” and a number of sources will avail themselves.