Spaces and lines
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Keeping letters sitting on lines and having reasonable spaces between words is a problem children can have: because they are rushing to get finished and not taking any care in the presentation of the work (boys in particular who think the activity is "boring") or they are competitive and want to finish first.However, it could be symptomatic of an underlying visual or spatial problem.  If intervention techniques do not show any improvements, a Behavioural Optometrist or Irlen Screener should be consulted.  Writing on a line can be very hard if you cannot see the line in the first place or it keeps moving! ≈≈≈≈ Usually though, some simple activities will help to rectify the problem.

*  Separation of words - establish that the child understands the concept of    a written word!  We join our words when we talk so logically to some   children we join them when we write! I love reading joined words as one to highlight what they have done! I also join up some of the children' names and read it as one word explaining that, just like people, words are individuals.

*  Use the pointer finger width to make spaces after words.  Fingers are great tools!

*  I liken lines to the seats children sit on in class and call it "bums on seats".  Children are the letters that sit on them, some with their legs hanging down,  some taller than others, most have the main part of their body on the chair .....but some are naughty and stand on the chair.  (This can be done as a physical activity in the classroom or at home to make it both visual and more meaningful).

*  Once the idea of "bums on seats" has been achieved, I use the "trampoline"!  When I see writing that is not on the line, I make comments like "oh no, they are jumping on the trampoline again!"  "you have just got to tell them (the letters) that it is not a trampoline but a seat!"  with a facial expression that registers disappointment.   I soon get responses of "look Steph, no trampolines today!".

*  Writing against a ruler can also demonstrate what writing will look like when it is all even.  It does become a bit "square" but it's fun to do and they quickly get the idea.

Practice makes perfect so give your child time to get it right.



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