View Full Version : Controlling FREAK about holding a pencil

04-22-2011, 02:43 AM
What happened to the good old days where everyone was forced to hold a pencil in just the perfect way with the perfect grip.

04-22-2011, 09:15 AM
My wife, the OT, would completely agree with you. Holding a pencil correctly is so important for proper letter formation and other fine motor activities like shoe-tying. I didn't appreciate the importance of it until she demonstrated it with our younger son, who used to grip every writing or drawing implement completely wrong and as a result had other problems. Getting better now.

04-22-2011, 12:20 PM
Yeah, I say DON'T let it go. That actually is important. I think there has gotten to be a bad association like teachers used to be too harsh about it or something - but what's worse, having to correct it when a kid is young or having to struggle for years with a kid who finds writing painful and/or has unreadable handwriting? It might be important to find a gentle way to correct it, but I would still firmly try to correct it!

04-22-2011, 12:59 PM
Although this doesn't help any...

I can clearly remember being in fourth grade and we had a handwriting expert come in to the class to show us the proper way to hold the pencil and form the letters. She also made the HUGE mistake of showing us the improper way.

When I was in 3rd grade in a different school district I learned the proper way and didn't realize that there was an improper way...so when she showed us I thought "Oh neat! I'm going to try that!" (Rebel that I was)

So now-many many years later...I have atrocious handwriting and get calluses and cramps easily when I write more than a paragraph. (So-maybe it was helpful!!!)

04-22-2011, 03:55 PM
My daughter has a funky pencil grip. She puts her index and middle fingers on the pencil and puts her thumb against the top of the index finger by the knuckle. But her handwriting is beautiful (for a five-year-old), but I have a nagging sense that I should work on correcting it before too long. Anyone have a favorite pencil gripper product to recommend?

04-22-2011, 09:57 PM
Pencil grippers are not usually recommended. What IS good is pieces of broken crayon (good news, right? bet you have those) and golf pencils.

Its a good idea to correct every time from toddlerhood on. Muscle memory is hard to change later.

04-25-2011, 03:19 AM
Okay, no pencil grippers, which I have, and all the correction is getting me nowhere! Seriously, every time they pick up a writing implement they hold it funny. One holds with the middle finger on the pencil as well as the index. The other has her thumb knuckle on the pencil instead of the tip. I correct, and have thought that I might just let them go.

I was using a pencil grip that sort of forced them to put their fingers in the correct position. I am guessing that the smaller the piece of crayon the better?

04-25-2011, 06:31 AM
I've read this too - that smaller implements are just hard to hold incorrectly.

04-25-2011, 07:04 PM
Try this just before writing:

I'm not self promoting, but I am currently in the process of uploading a series from this OT about some sensory integration 'exercises' that can easily be done at home . . he is my son's OT and an awesome one! I asked specifically to film things for my fellow HS'ers! I know we typically don't do flashcards or pressure math facts (the way PS's pressure kids to do it) so these are just simple pre-activity activities that anyone can do and most kids will benefit from them. The ZOOM I have linked to takes 52 seconds after has been learned, he does have some great information as to why it works. I do have to say my kids are reluctant to do this, but when they do it is quick and they do have better pencil control (which equals less frustration- my goal).

05-03-2011, 02:25 PM
My daughter's OT has recommended Twist n' Write pencils - http://www.schoolpak.com/shopexd.asp?id=5923. Both of my kids like using them. She also recommends writing with crayon nubs. Writing on a slanted surface (kid's easels are good for this) or taping paper to a wall can help.

05-06-2011, 05:50 PM
I don't use the "proper" grip, never have, it was never comfortable to me, and my handwriting is very legible, my hands feel fine when I write, I never had problems with other fine motor tasks. It was never a problem for me, only for various teachers who insisted I correct it. So I would say, take into account if your child's writing is poor, or it is causing other problems, like Mark said, or your child's hand is easily fatigued when writing. If none of those are an issue, than maybe let it go. Just my .02.

05-06-2011, 11:53 PM
@julie, yes coming to that conclusion. And I've seen beautiful handwriting from non-proper grip people. I am just getting all OCD on it. Went so far as to look for something called the pen again at office depot. My kids don't write long enough for me to tell if their hands get fatigued or not. Maybe it's just that past life as a nun coming back to haunt me.

Basically just time for me to get over myself and let them write how they want to write.