Although the learning techniques in classrooms have changed over the decades, old-fashioned writing is still an important skill that students need to learn to do their assignments and homework. Good handwriting ensures better scores in exams as the answers are more legible. Even in the digital-keyboard age, chirography is still an important mode of expression and communication. Continue reading for some handwriting tips for students that can help them write better.
9 Effective Tips on How to Improve Handwriting for Kids
Here are some effective tips to improve handwriting for kids:
1. Recognize the Problem
Before you can formulate a plan to improve your child’s handwriting, figure out what it is that is causing them to write badly. It could be a whole list starting with the improper posture of sitting, improper holding of the pencil, poor hand-to eye-co-ordination or medical problems such as ADD or ADHD that stops them from sitting still. If it is a medical problem, they need to be treated for it first before getting down improving their handwriting.
2. Build Motor Skills
Writing is primarily fine control of the muscle in the hands and arm, which in turn, control the wrist and fingers. Activities and games involving fine movement such as stringing beads, games with rice, beans and other small objects build motor skills in the children. Finer control of the muscles helps them to grip their pencil better and move it accurately to write words. Activities such as finger painting are also a great exercise to hone motor skills.
3. Ensure the Pencil is Grasped Correctly
Getting a good grip on the pencil is equally important to learn how to write well. This needs to be taught in their early formative years so that their handwriting improves steadily over time. Here are some tips to hold the pencil properly:
- The pencil should be held firmly but not too tight. As they get better, they can learn to relax and grip the pencil more gently.
- A good way to steady the pencil is to hold it with the thumb and the index finger while it rests on the middle finger below.
- The pencil should be held in such a way that it rests on the bridge between the thumb and the index finger.
- A pencil grip can be used to improve the grip.
4. Relax the Pressure and Grip
Observe them as they write. If you see that they are gripping the pencil too tightly, tell them to relax a little bit. A tight grip puts pressure on the fingers and tires them out leading to pain; it also cramps out their muscles making their handwriting sloppy. How much pressure they put into words also contributes to this. If you notice impressions on the following pages of the book, they are bearing down too hard on their pencil.
5. Practice Writing Aalphabets and Words
Good handwriting constitutes getting the proportions of letters right. Children need to know how to manage the size of capital and lower-case letters. This can be done using four-line practice books in the beginning and then followed by two-line books as they get better. Give them more writing exercises for alphabets that they write poorly so they can learn to write better.
6. Go Slow and Do Not Pressurize Them
It helps to take it slow and steady in the beginning to get their handwriting good. Let the child write at a pace they are comfortable with and do not rush them to write faster. It takes time to build the muscle memory to write well and write fast, so do not pressurize them into improving faster. They cannot get better overnight, so scolding them isn’t productive. If they feel stressed, they may not enjoy the activity or get worse at it eventually. Appreciating their efforts and incremental improvements, on the other hand, encourages them to do better.
7. Offer a Favourable Environment
Let the kids write in a proper seated position where they are able to freely move their arms and shoulders. Writing should always be practised in a sitting position on a proper study table. They should not write lying down or sit on a couch while watching TV. Also, increase their reading time. Giving them books with neatly printed letters in a good font can inspire them to write better.
8. Provide Good Writing Tools
Part of teaching kids handwriting is offering them good writing tools. Some of them are as follows:
- A good lined paper that takes the pencil score well is important. The quality of the paper determines how well they can write on it. The surface must offer good friction to write on and handle it without too much indentation or tearing.
- The right-sized pencil is a must. Some kids may not be comfortable holding jumbo sized ones, therefore, try golf pencils that are smaller and easier to grip. Also, observe what quality of the lead your child is comfortable with. Leads such as HB are medium ranged, and 2B is softer.
- Pencil grip can be used to aid them to hold the pencil firmly as they write.
9. Make It Fun
Since the practice of chirography can be boring for children, adding a little fun can make them more enthusiastic about writing. Here are a few tips:
- Get them fun accessories that they like such as coloured pencils, brightly coloured books that look attractive, or pencil toppers.
- Play drawing games that teach them proper grip and coordination while building dexterity and posture.
- Making lists such as what you need to buy for shopping, places you need to visit or the names of friends they want to invite to their birthday party is a good way to encourage them to write.
- With practice and persistence, good handwriting can be honed in children over time.