Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back to school series: Tips on Handwriting

Handwritten notes may soon be a thing of the past - And, it is so true that we are increasingly using tech gadgets to convey our messages. The research commissioned by online stationer Doc mail reveals that the average time since an adult last wrote by hand was 41 days. It also found that one in three of us has not had cause to write anything 'properly' for more than six months. 2000 respondents said, it's only scribbling on paper for some reason but mostly handwritten notes are faded trends. 50% in the online poll admitted that their handwriting had noticeably declined, with one in seven declaring they were 'ashamed' of their written word.

Well, most of the Parents who come to me often complain about their kid's handwriting. Started with scribbles and crayons, kids find pens, pencils and sketch pens to write cursive with the simple alphabet writing. Some love to write and some hate it. Teachers and moms often label their handwriting as 'messy', 'untidy', 'rubbish' and lower the self esteem of the child. Like 'Practice makes a man perfect', a little bit of encouragement and careful follow up can help a child to try to write better. First and foremost, the hold of the pencil needs to be right.  Correct way of holding the pen or pencil is resting to thumb, index and middle fingers. I find many kids holding the pencil wrong way and this is the habit they form later which is difficult to change the habit. Secondly, it is writing on the lines. Using a four lines or two lines book is ideal but with guidance to write between the two lines and in forward flow of writing in a slow pace. Once, the handwriting is formed, speed comes gradually. Another step is to take care that the child do not shoot force on pencil gripping the pencil tight and frequently breaking the pencil points. The cursive flow needs to be soft and flowing.

Quite often I find children writing messy but with a little help, in a couple of sessions, they love to write cursive writing and realize the difference themselves. Once they learn to write properly, they love writing and ask for more handwriting material in the classroom.

Well, Back to School series and here's on Handwriting and You. Indeed, handwriting needs a practice and with the tech age, writing is almost out like Reading is on back seat! White Boards in class will further make difference and with more kids hooked to computers and television, it is worth a thought to focus on kid's handwriting at the start. Whatever the use of computers and mobiles, kids have to read and write and not be dependent on keys and keyboards - so, better early that getting too late to realize the mistakes.

- ilaxi patel
Editor, www.kidsfreesouls.com
Kids Newspaper

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