In my son’s school, I have noticed a significant shift away from creating children who can write neatly.  So, I try to find ways to get my kids motivated about writing – and writing legibly – without feeling like it is such a chore.  Here are a couple of suggestions to try with your young writer:

  • Making a (shopping) list – on the way to the store, I dictate a short list to my son of things we need to purchase.  Then, I allow him to add one or two extra items that he feels we may need (we talk about them first, though, before adding them!).  He realizes how important it is to write well when others will be using your “work”!
  • Portable writing center – this is an idea I gleaned from my preschool classroom.  I try to keep a supply of paper and pens or pencils in the car, usually in the glove box or among the children’s belongings in the front seat.  When we are out running errands, I let my sons write letters to their friends.  They can also choose to write relatives or far away friends as well, and we mail those off to get to their destination.  From time to time, I will stock my car with postage-paid postcards for my boys to write letters.  Then, we make our final errand stop the post office!  To practice writing for another person’s enjoyment is a good motivator to use legible handwriting.

What are some ideas you have for getting kids to write legibly?