A very important skill
Handwriting is as unique to each of us as our finger print, but sadly it’s becoming a lost art. It is a skill that today’s generation can find very difficult!
Handwriting, like all other skills, needs to be taught and then practiced. First, you need to learn the correct technique of holding a pen and then you need to practice…a lot! Unfortunately, due to technology, and even more so during COVID, handwriting is becoming a skill that children don’t develop properly.
Kids, especially boys, can struggle with handwriting. In primary school handwriting difficulties are often missed or overlooked. Kids that are struggling with handwriting will avoid handwriting, this only compounds the issue later on. I find as students are getting into senior school, their teachers, parents and even the student themselves start to realise they will find a three-hour written English exam in Year 12 very difficult to complete.
Students often feel that their poor handwriting is a reflection that they are not very “smart” or “co-ordinated” and they lose confidence in their academic performance as a result. In my experience, handwriting difficulties are not a sign of a student’s capability in the classroom or even on the sporting field. And contrary to what some may believe, handwriting difficulties have nothing to do with intelligence.
Many students struggle with handwriting legibility or handwriting speed, or sometimes both. There are many factors that can contribute to handwriting difficulties, such as weak hand muscles that fatigue easily, poor posture, incorrect letter formation, poor pencil/pen grip, incorrect pencil/pen pressure or lack of motivation to name a few.
Strategies for Improvement
Handwriting needs to be developed and then practised to maintain the skill. There is a strong connection between the hand and brain. Writing something down using a pen and paper is a far better way to remember it than typing or using an iPad.
The good news is that I have seen many primary school and high school students improve their handwriting with the right assessment and coaching, which is very rewarding for the students (and me)!