Monday, 29 June 2015

How to improve handwriting

It is almost every other parents' complaint....'My child's handwriting is awful'. There is a red remark on school book pages 'Not readable', 'Messy', 'Be neat'. These are the signs when you should look into improving their handwriting.

You can use these tips while you teach your child to write the first time too.

Fun: Some kids love to write but some don't. To make them sit in one place to write is tedious. So you may have to use some incentives.
Try using colorful decorative pencils or a colored page or color pencils to write.
Just make sure that the pencils are long enough. Short pencils will be difficult for the child to hold and their fingers pain while holding it.

Posture: Make the child sit with their back straight. Give them a flat hard writing pad to place their book on, at the right height (add pillow support to raise height). Or make them sit at the study table specially made for kids.
Position/Turn the book/page according to the position of their hands. Make sure their hands don't strain while writing.

Grip: Grip is the way the pencil/pen is held in between the fingers. A correct grip will help with easy movement of the pencil and draw perfect lines. 2 types of grips that seem comfortable and less straining are the Tripod and Quadrupod.
In Tripod grip the pencil is held by the index and thumb while the pencil rests on the middle finger.
In Quadrupod grip the pencil is held by the index, middle finger and thumb while the pencil rests on the ring finger.

Right pen/pencil: Use a long thin and sharpened pencil. Try to use HB pencils that are dark so that the kids don't press the pencil into the paper while writing. If using a pen make sure it does not have a very thick body.

Patterns and shapes: Start with drawing standing, sleeping and curved lines. Use entire page for each pattern. Make the child practice these lines till he gets it perfect i.e. no wobbly lines. Practice drawing shapes like triangle, square, rectangle, kite etc to make it fun.

Handwriting styles: Get to know the handwriting style the school is teaching.
- Cursive: Lot of letters are different from the printed letters you see on this page. It is also called joint writing or running writing.
- Print
A mix of print and cursive style used widely now.

- Writing simple alphabets like T, L, E, I. Then go for alphabets with slanting lines and then curved.
- Write alphabets in small i.e a, b, c etc.
- For kids in higher grades start writing 3 letter words and then sentences and later paragraphs.
- Use index finger for spacing between words initially. Later the child gets used to the space to be left between words without using the index finger.
- Focus on height and width of the letters once the lines of letters are perfect.

Time: Dedicate half hour everyday on this exercise till the child achieves perfection. Do not give up!

Do not forget to praise and encourage the kids. They will respond faster if you do it!

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