Pre-writing skills are the necessary skills learners need to develop before they are able to write. Handwriting is made up of so many areas, from holding a pencil to moving and controlling the pencil to draw, write, copy and colour. Handwriting requires a variety of motor movements that must all work together. Not to forget, there are also the eyes. What is seen and recognised needs to be coordinated by hand – visual processing has a huge impact on handwriting.
Pre-writing skills involve practicing prewriting shapes and developing fine motor skills. Pre-writing shapes referred to the strokes that most letters and numbers are made up of. These are the pre-shape strokes and they are mastered by the learner in a progressive order according to age.
Just like children need to learn to walk before they can run, learners need to master pre-writing skills before they can have legible and efficient handwriting. When these skills are underdeveloped it can lead to other issues such as frustration and resistance because the learner is unable to produce legible writing or because the learner is unable to ‘keep up’ in class due to fatigue. And these issues can result in poor self-esteem and academic performance.