“Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.”– Sir Francis Bacon
Your child studies well and knows the answer to the questions. However, the teacher cannot figure out what he/she has written!
Well, in this case, you cannot blame the teacher, as they can award marks to only what has been recorded on paper and not based on assumptions. Sometimes the child can’t read his or her own handwriting!
The only way to resolve this issue is to improve your child’s handwriting.
The Need to Improve Handwriting
From a very young age, children are taught to focus on handwriting by practicing cursive writing in a 4-ruled notebook. Still, some children do not take this exercise seriously and fail to work on their handwriting. Unknown to them at the time, this gross neglect of improving the handwriting will cost them dearly in their later years.
Unfortunately, they will lose precious marks for handwriting. Even a “-1” for handwriting can alter the grade grossly and no sincere student would be willing to lose that.
Before we think about correcting your child’s handwriting, let us take a look at the problem that your child might face while writing.
Problems in Your Child’s Handwriting
Your child might face the following problems in his/her handwriting:
1. Wrong grasp of the pencil
2. Poor pressure or grip on the pencil
3. Poor formation of the letters
4. Poor letter sizing
5. Poor spacing between the words
6. Wrong direction of writing
7. Indiscriminate use of capital and small letters
8. Difficulty in copying words
9. Poor motor skills
Identifying the root cause of the problem is the key to resolving it. This is known as ‘Why-Why or ‘5 Why’ analysis. Keep asking why until you get to the main cause of the problem. The same applies to handwriting as well. Once you do that, improving your child’s handwriting is simple.
Tips and Techniques to Improve Your Child’s Handwriting
So, why let your child feel depressed about something as easy as handwriting? Let us help your children improve their handwriting with these following simple techniques.
1. Proper Pencil Grasp
Children may love crayons and sketch pens, but good handwriting begins with a pencil.
Poor handwriting result from weak motor skills which are exhibited through a poor or incorrect grasp of the pencil.
- Teach your child to hold the pencil correctly between the thumb, index, and middle finger.
- The pencil must be gripped gently and not tightly. Ask your child to relax the grip on the pencil and not hold it too tightly, or the lead tip may break. If the grip is tight, your child might be stressed. Ask your child to unwind, relax and then continue writing.
- Buy some rubber pencil grips from the stationery shop to improve your child’ grip.
- Some children hold the pencil too close to the lead tip. This will apply pressure on the lead, causing it to break often. Let there be a 1-2 cm distance from the lead at all times.
2. Use the Right Materials
When it comes to your choice of paper, pencil, and eraser, you and your child have to get it right.
- The right pencil helps your child produce the right imprint without much pressure on it and without leaving dark smudges on the paper.
- Let the pencil not be longer than 6 cm. However, extremely short pencils aren’t right either. Test different sizes and see which works best for you.
- Everyone makes mistakes. That’s why there are erasers on pencils. However, your child should have a seperate eraser (or ‘rubber’). A good eraser removes all writing without leaving any dark patches on the paper or tearing it. Throw out a used eraser and get a new one. It will be worth it.
- The best paper to begin handwriting practice would be a 4 ruled paper sheet and not plain white paper. This makes sure your child stays in the lines and all letters are of even height, making your handwriting legible.
3. Correct the Style of Writing
There is a right and wrong way to write.
- There are 2 forms of handwriting: cursive writing and block writing. Cursive (also known as ‘running’) refers to the usage of joint letters while block writing has the letters not joined but separate from one another.
- Teach your child the correct way to form letters, whether it’s cursive or block font. Encourage them to write legibly, neatly and boldly with the correct size and spacing.
- Instruct your child on the proper use of capitalization and small letters and show them the difference in size between them.
- Teach your child to write the letters upright and not in a tilted fashion.
- Instruct the importance of allowing space between words for legibility.
- Once the child gets used to a form of writing, as long as it is legible, they should stick to it so teachers also get used to what they have written.
4. Check for the speed of writing
Some children tend to write hastily. In this process, their handwriting gets spoilt.
- Teach your child the importance of adjusting the speed to follow legible handwriting.
- Slower handwriting is usually neater and easier to read.
- In the beginning, let the child start off writing slowly and steadily.
- Eventually, they can pick up the pace while their handwriting remains legible.
5. Improve Dexterity With Fun and Games
Strengthening finger and wrist coordination will improve dexterity and help in writing. The better control over fingers, the better control over the handwriting. Use these fun activities to improve finger agility:
- Coloring with crayons
- Cutting paper
- Clay modelling
- Bead stringing
- Playing with forks and spoons
- Wooden block games
- Word puzzles
- Joining the dots
Practice Makes Handwriting P
For good handwriting, the right remedy Is practice. Ask your child to practice his/her handwriting daily. Download some fun exercises from online practice-learning sites like LetsPractise to help them improve their handwriting.
Unfortunately during exam time, they do not have the luxury of writing slowly, so it is essential to keep practicing on a regular basis. We offer practice papers for students from 1st to 10th standard, from many boards including IGCSE, SSC, State Board, CBSE, ICSE, and more.
The advantage of using such online practice learning sites like LetsPractise is that they not only enable your child to sharpen their academic skills but also hone their handwriting skills with regular practice.
Legible handwriting is important not only for exams, but later on in life as well. Cultivate neat writing from a young age. Encourage your children to improve their handwriting with regular practice and watch them embark on an excellent future with their impressive handwriting!