Edco Handwriting Forum

Welcome to this NEW Edco Handwriting Online Forum. Teachers can ask our author Breda Courtney Murphy, any questions they may have in relation to Edco Handwriting and Breda will post her answers here online.
Please feel free to post your question/s below

Teacher Questions & Answers

I teach Senior Infants and some children in the class really struggle with maintaining the correct pencil grip, especially when we are not doing a formal handwriting lesson. Do you have any tips or suggestions to help improve their grip?


I taught Senior Infants for many years so I fully understand your concern.  A good tip is to have plastic counters available to children with pencil grip difficulties. Place the counter in the palm of the hand and hold it with the ring and little fingers. Follow the steps on the online video. A few weeks of perseverance and you will see a big improvement. Children will naturally hold the pencil correctly. Hope this helps. 

(Mrs Murphy!)

Hi there, I really like the look of this programme for Junior Infants but I was just wondering how the order of the letters in the book would align with the Jolly Phonics Programme order of phonics. I understand why the handwriting book adopts the order of letters (c, o , a d, etc.) as a handwriting book but wondering how it will fit in with the Jolly phonics as we follow it in my school. I see that there is meant to be a yearly plan etc. for teacher's but can't seem to locate it on this site. Can you please help me with this?


Hi Rachael. Nice to hear from you. I taught Junior Infants for many years and I always taught handwriting following the order of letters used in Edco Handwriting with Mrs Murphy. This programme is written in a logical way making it easy for children to learn to write. Phonics and handwriting are two separate entities and I believe they should be taught separately. We also used Jolly Phonics in our school and I found it didn’t interfere with the teaching of handwriting. The children are exposed to all of the letters in the alphabet from the start because of posters, etc. around the classroom, so I didn’t find it a problem to teach phonics and handwriting in different orders. In handwriting lessons, I would link in phonics in an informal way, such as using both letter names and sounds. Whether you are teaching pre-cursive or cursive writing, I believe it is always better for the child to learn to write by following the natural progression of letter formation led by shape, otherwise it can be very confusing for them to jump between letters with tails and curly letters, for example. 

To locate the yearly plan, follow these steps: 

• Log on to Edcolearning.ie. 

• Click the Edco Handwriting ebook you require e.g. Edco Handwriting Cursive A. 

• On the book menu page, click on Edco Resources (top right of page). 

• Click Teacher's Resource Book (green, left of page). 

• Click Teacher Resources. 

• Click Printables. 

• Click Pace of Progress. This downloads the yearly plan. 


- Go to https://edcohandwriting.ie/teacher-resources/. 

- Click Printables. - Click Pace of Progress. This downloads the yearly plan.

(Mrs Murphy!)

Hello Breda, 

I teach third class. There are some children not holding the pencil correctly. At the start of each handwriting lesson we discuss how to grip the pencil. Some children use pencil grips. I encourage the correct pencil grip during the handwriting lessons but not during other lessons. Have you any tips or advice please?

Thank you!


Hi Grace,

Pencil grip often creates problems. The longer it remains uncorrected the more difficult it is to rectify.

However, perseverance pays off. My advice is to remind the child to hold the pencil/pen correctly during all lessons, not just the formal handwriting lesson. (Incidentally of course!)

You have probably seen the video online for the correct pencil grip. It may help this child initially if she were to hold a folded tissue or piece of paper, about 2cm squared. Place the tissue in the palm of the hand and hold it with the ring finger and little finger. This will only allow the thumb and two fingers free to hold the pencil/pen. 

Follow five simple steps:

1. Pencil pointing towards you.

2. Place the paper square in your hand.

3. Hold the square with your little finger and ring finger.

4. Pinch the pencil/pen with the thumb and index finger.

5. Flip the pencil/pen and rest it on your middle finger.

Having done this over a period of time you can progress to the 'imaginary' tissue. It will be slow at the start but should remedy the situation.

Hope this helps. 

All the best, 

(Mrs Murphy!)

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