1) For proper hand placement, put a piece of masking tape around the lower portion of the pencil where the child should grip it. If needed, put dots with a permanent marker on the tape to show where each finger should go. Of course when the pencil is sharpened, you’ll have to move or replace the tape.
2) Teach formation of the lower case letters first. Most of what we write is lower case so it's easier to teach the rules of capitalization later, beginning with your child’s name.
3) Demonstrate how to slowly stretch out the sounds in words and help record the sounds on paper. For example the word cat would be stretched out to c-a-t. Clap the sounds individually for further emphasis. A Reason For Handwriting, Kindergarten: Kindergarten Student Workbook offers great practice.