For many people, teaching a child to be a good writer seems like a monumental task beyond their reach. But, learning to be a good writer is simply part of a natural progression of language skills that develop in a specified order. It begins with learning to speak and understand others around us and continues with reading as the nuances of spoken language develop sufficiently.

As children begin reading, it is only natural that they would want to learn to put their own thoughts to paper. This is when they begin to learn handwriting. It takes time to develop handwriting skills, and it also takes time to develop reading fluency. By the time both of these skills have developed sufficiently, a child is then finally ready to learn about language arts such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. Before this point, they do not have the skills and experience necessary to make much progress with language arts. How long this progression takes varies from child to child, but the order in which it develops does not.

From this point forward, the children continue to hone their writing and grammar skills to include writing abilities to fit a variety of settings. To help you guide your student on this journey, we have listed resources for Handwriting, Grammar/Punctuation/Spelling, and Stylized Writing below.


Handwriting Without Tears — recommended by occupational therapists; works for all children, including those with developmental delays

Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling

Grammar-Land: Grammar in Fun for the Children of Schoolroom-Shire by M. L. Nesbitt — engaging book that explains grammar in a narrative style

Simply Grammar: An Illustrated Primer by Karen Andreola — a Charlotte Mason grammar workbook for upper elementary/middle grades

KISS Grammar — a free resource that seems to work well for dysgraphic and dyslexic students

Winston Grammar — an excellent choice for dysgraphic and dyslexic students

Simply Spelling — language arts curriculum based on copy work, grammar, and dictation

Stylized Writing

The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition — for older children who are ready for a challenge

Brave Writer