pencil grip

Discussion in 'Kids & Teenagers' started by Septie, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Septie

    Septie Well-Known Member

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    So my LO just entered preschool a month ago. He just turned 4 (and I believe is youngest in his class - most are at least half a year older). He learned the letters early (19/20 months), and has been writing for at least a year (albeit with fist grip and starting letters from the bottom - he taught himself lol - but he is fast). His current drawing skills, according to the preschool, are better than many 3rd graders (and he can draw for hours at a time). His fine motor skills are good, he can use scissors etc (all according to the preschool) The preschool is now working on pencil grip - and have told us to practice at home. A couple of weeks ago, he went from fist grip to an immature non-fist grip - using the index and middle finger on top of the pencil (instead of the middle finger at the bottom). He also went from starting letters from the bottom, to starting writing from the top. We just found out they want to impose the standard tripod grip. We practiced that last night, and after some work, he can do letters like that quickly without many problems. But he was also supposed to color in quite a few huge animals with proper grip. And that didn't go well (we ended up sending him back with several empty/half finished coloring sheets). But until he masters proper grip, he'll be tracing a letter at a time for two days... Is this focus on perfectly proper grip at such an early age appropriate? Is the handstrength there? I am also worried that his drawing is taking a hit. Which is just such a shame...
    Oh - he doesn't usually get homework like that, we just had to do at home what he missed at school when sick last week. I am glad though that I got to see what they do in school. Thanks ladies!
     
  2. SerenityNow

    SerenityNow Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if it is age appropriate. My kids were never required to use a tripod grip at any time in school and, frankly, it drive me nuts. My 13 year old still doesn't use it-- and not for lack of being reminded by her mother that it is a more efficient grip! I wouldn't be surprised if the only reason my 9 year old uses a tripod grip is because she didn't want me fussing over her the way I did with her sister.

    Because it had been such a bugbear for me, I'm inclined to think it is good to introduce and require a proper grip before a different grip is so entrenched that he can't switch. OTOH you don't want him stuck doing activities that aren't engaging for him just because of the way he holds his pencil. I think I maybe give it a week or so and see what kind of work they are going him. If the only thing holding him back from doing more appropriate work is his pencil grip I would ask that he be allowed to move on. They can still encourage him to develop a tripod grip using grip trainers or triangular pencils, etc. If you want to work on it at home in a low pressure way, really short crayons or pencils are great because they require user to hold them in a tripod.
     
  3. RachA

    RachA Well-Known Member

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    Personally I don't think it's appropriate to be teaching a child this young to have a proper pencil grip. If they do it naturally then fine but they should not be forced to write/colour using the 'proper' grip if its not natural for them. There is plenty of time for that to come in the future. If my nearly 4yo was being forced to do it then I would take major issue over it.
    I know things change but I was talking to a primary teacher a year or so ago-she hasn't taught for several years but has spent all her working life teaching the lower end of primary school-and she said that most children don't have the necessary development in the hands to hold a pencil properly until they are 7years. Obviously there are those that will buy its the minority. Forcing them can end up hindering their development rather than helping them.
     
  4. hattiehippo

    hattiehippo Well-Known Member

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    I think it's a difficult call tbh. Research has shown that using a dynamic tripod grip is the most efficient way to write and makes it easier for children to form letters and write easily with less tiredness. And I know from being a teacher that by 7 it's too late to change most children's grip - once they're used to writing one way it's virtually impossible to change it.

    I would keep practising it but for very short periods at home and stop as soon as he wants to as he is only 4. You could also get him to write and draw lying on his tummy or standing up to work on his shoulder stability and strength - this will help improve his hand control.
     
  5. Dream.dream

    Dream.dream SAHM to 2 beautiful boys

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    My sons 4.5 and in kindergarten and he's struggling to learn proper grip because he's been set in his ways for so long holding it imp properly ,

    I wish I'd helped him correct it earlier because he's getting frustrated so I don't think it's to early to work on it, but I don't think it should be a forced thing.

    If you can gently correct him when he's coloring be better then making him finish some coloring sheets with proper grip
     
  6. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Mother of 4

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    I held my pencil "wrong" all my life. It was pointed out in school a number of times but when they seen my writing was excellent and I was great at art they backed off. You should hold a pencil the way you want too as the normal way for me is very uncomfortable.
     

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