I rarely write much by hand anymore, the computer or phone is where the majority of my writing takes place. Whenever I write by hand my writing appears shockingly bad, but then I rarely need to write. So is having neat handwriting really so important?
Why is Handwriting Important?
Yes, people can now get by with writing everything on the computer. But we still need to be able to write and write legibly. I mean you never know when all computers will suddenly have a massive breakdown and we’ll be back in the dark ages with just pen and paper?!!
All joking aside, it’s a life skill that has to be learnt and has to be legible. Sometimes writing is the only way to get your point across and computers can crash or delete all your information (or that novel you’ve been working on). It’s much more personal to have a handwritten letter from family or friends rather than an email or print out. I write a letter each year in my boys birthday cards for when they are older and I hope that little record of their lives is appreciated. But there’s no point writing anything if noone else can read it!
So yes, handwriting is important still and us adults should probably practice actual writing more often too!
A Good Grip
Before kids even start to write they need to be able to hold a pen or pencil correctly. It’s taken me ages to try and get our eldest to hold his pen the right way round, so we’re starting earlier with our littlest.
Any activity that includes the clenching of the fist, squeezing fingers together helps. So think about all those great sensory play activities with playdough or slime, when you squeeze it in your hands. Scrunching up paper or working a spray gun is brilliant practice too. There are load of activities for little ones to try!
Mastering The Technique
Once your child has mastered how to hold a pen, then they need to practice using it to make marks and lines. We have been using a variety of ideas from plain paper to mazes and worksheets. My littlest doesn’t have the patience for worksheets, but my eldest loves trying to keep in between the lines on pencil control sheets.
Of course the next step is to practice letters and you can get so many letter writing worksheets which you simply print off and let your child copy. Once they are writing their letters they will soon develop their own style and the more practice the neater their writing will be.
If you are looking to improve handwriting then there are several clear ways to do this. Slowing down is certainly very important, I notice this in my own handwriting too. A quickly written shopping list is not always legible when my husband goes shopping, but if I take my time it’s obvious what each item is.
Although lying on the floor can be comfy, it isn’t useful at encouraging neat writing. It’s a much better idea to sit down at a desk or table.
Do you have any of your own tips for neater handwriting?
* This is a collaborative post.