A child makes his first impression for any written examination through their handwriting. So, handwriting play a very important role in everyone’s life. Turning from a bad handwriting to good handwriting is difficult but not impossible. It is an acquired skill which can be achieved through practice. This blog is all about attaining good handwriting.
But before we start with the tips, we need to understand on identifying the root cause of the problem. Just like when we go to the doctor, we tell him the root cause of the problem and only then he gives us the right medicine. Similarly, you need to identify it too so that you can make a difference in child’s handwriting.
So, first we will talk about how we would know that the child needs help and there is a problem with his handwriting.
Identifying the problem?
1. Letter shapes- Distorted shapes of the alphabets or not able to write in the lines properly or some alphabets are big and some are small.
2. Spacing – The spacing between the alphabets and between words are either too squeezy and too spacy.
3. Not following the margins- the margins like the blue and red margins, in which the child needs to follow rules while writing upper- and lower-case letters.
4. Letter reversals- Some alphabets are written reversed like mirror imaging.
5. Mixing capital and lower case- The child is writing a word and is not able to write in complete lower case and is using capital case randomly.
6. Misuse of punctuation- Using punctuation mark anywhere in the sentence rather than at the end.
7. Mixing cursive and print- using two fonts together without any sentence sequence.
Based on these problems there are some causes for bad handwriting:
1. Short attention span- The children who have a very low attention span they are not able to copy the font properly or think of something else in the middle of the written work. Distraction breaks the thoughts of the child and he tends to do bad work
2. Shaky hands or loose grip- When the child is not holding the pencil with a strong grip then the adequate pressure is not applied resulting in bad handwriting.
3. Learning lower case letters too early – It’s important to start writing with upper case alphabets or capital letters as it does not have too many curves in it. Gradually when the child has practiced enough and his fingers are experienced only then we should start small letters. But it has been noticed that adults teach the children small letters early which adversely affect their handwriting.
4. Child not getting explicit instruction for writing- Instruction and movement of the alphabets need to be taught before the child starts writing. Some alphabets start from down and some from up, so clear and crisp instruction help the child a lot. Lack of instruction can create confusion in the child’s mind and he just copies the alphabets without thinking about it which has a very bad effect on their handwriting.
5. Too many letter fonts at a tender age- Never try to teach two fonts to the children at the same time. The simple way to do it is teaching one font completely and fluently only then gradually teach another font. Children get confused with print hand and cursive writing when taught together which all the more results in bad handwriting.
6. Incorrect letter formation- The movement of the hand while writing the alphabet plays a prominent role in letter formation. So, forming the letter correctly help in the handwriting at a longer run as the fluency is created and writing becomes faster.
7. Wrong posture- The place where the child is writing could be on the bed or on the floor or on the table as well as sitting or standing while writing impacts the handwriting. The child is bending too much or keeping his back straight all this will have to be checked when child writes in his notebook. We forget to focus on the posture of the child which is a big reason for distorted handwriting.
8. Introducing single-lined worksheets (not the 4 lined sheets)- The worksheets which come from school are generally single lined or blank so the formation is not at all focussed at that time and focus is given on right answer. Also, when we adults teach the child to check if he remembers the alphabets and he has just started learning to write then we don’t realize and give them a blank sheet for practice which results in bad handwriting. It’s important that at all times 4 lined notebooks of red and blue need to be given to the child.
9. Lack of practice- Child is always lazy to write or just does not want to write as he feels that he knows it which results in lack of practice. It is also rightly said “Practice makes the man perfect”.
10.Impulsive child – The children who are high on energy or with too many things going on in their mind. They just want to wrap up the writing work and close it as fast as possible. This kind of habit results in not noticing about the handwriting and they learn to do dirty work at all times.
Medical reasons for bad handwriting?
1. Dysgraphia- Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)- Dysgraphia is a brain-based learning disability that affects writing. It dysgraphia is common among individuals with ADHD.
2. Hypermobility syndrome- The joints that easily move beyond the normal range expected for a particular joint and is considered a benign condition.
3. Dyslexia- It is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.
4. Dyspraxia - It is a brain-based motor disorder. It affects fine and gross motor skills, and coordination. It's not related to intelligence, but it can sometimes affect cognitive skills.
5. ADHD/ADD- Attention Disabilities- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental health disorder that can cause above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors.
6. Visual impairment- is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses.
These medical conditions are not to be taken lightly but it’s important to identify and work on it. This needs professional to take care and if you identify these problems in your child, please contact the experts like an Occupational therapist or Cognitive Behavior Therapist. These people are specialized professionals who know how to get things sorted and help the child better in a more organized and structured manner.
10 Simple Tips for Attaining Good Handwriting:
1. Pre-Writing Skills - The hand needs to work out for strength and flexibility. So, the pre writing activities are the best way to enhance the writing skills. There are various fine- motor exercises - like tracing, circular continuous rounding on paper, slanting pattern, zig-zag pattern.
2. Practice on dot-to-dot pattern increases the grip- In this way both the number skill practice and alphabet practice can also happen. The hands get used to the mobility and also enhances the eye-hand coordination.
3. Quality of the paper- The paper quality plays such an important role as the low-quality paper keeps tearing and the flow of writing is broken.
4. Train practice and work on it- When the problem is identifies the only way to get better is the practice work. So it would be great idea to write DAILY DIARY which would not only work on the creativity of the child but can work on their handwriting too.
5. Stay consistent in your training- When anything done regularly and consistently then improvement is sure to come.
6. Teach them right – teaching the correct method with the right movement is very important. So we should be very particular on what are we teaching the children because learning the wrong thing and unlearning to learn the right thing is difficult so its all the more necessary to teach them right.
7. Use dynamic tripod grip for holding the pencil properly- the tripod grip is a traditional pencil gripping method to hold the pencil for good handwriting.
8. Triangular pencils for stronger grip (if using pens then preferably ink pens)- the circle pencils loosen the grip and the handwriting is spoilt. So triangular gripped pencils are strongly recommended. Also, the pencils need to be sharpened with a good sharpener too.
9. Boosting Confidence- Confidence building and making them realize that they are capable and can do it gives them the reason to improve and do well. The kids get inspired and motivated looking at their peers and they learn from each other. So, if right guidance with great examples are given to them, then they would learn better and faster.
10.Reading practice- the reading material is all print hand so what they read creates a memory of alphabets in their mind which eventually helps them to write correctly and neatly.
Interesting fact: People with ugly handwriting are also very creative. Bad handwriting in some cases is a sign of eccentricity too. Bad and messy handwriting is a sign of high-intelligence, meaning your pencil cannot keep up with your brain.
I hope these tips really help you and you follow it diligently. These are very simple tips but if you follow these things consistently then the change will be evident for sure. If you have any query, you can put it in the comment box below and if I have missed any point, you can put that too.
Thanks for reading my blog really appreciate it.