While people rarely handwrite in this digital age, good handwriting is still crucial for learning and memory sharpening. In addition, a study shows that the brain processes information faster when you write it on paper. Thus, if your child has poor handwriting, learning how to improve handwriting skills is imperative.
Good handwriting skills also help improve concentration and body alignment. For example, you can better focus when you write with your hands as multiple body parts concentrate on a single task.
So, let’s see how to improve the handwriting skills of children.
First, Analyze Your Handwriting
Before learning how to get better handwriting, let’s first analyze your handwriting style. It will help you identify problems with your handwriting and find the right solutions.
Moreover, teachers and parents can better help students when they understand their struggles with handwriting.
Here are some tips for analyzing your and your child’s handwriting fluency:
1. Check the Handwriting of Other People
Determining where your handwriting skills stand among peers is key. You can compare your child’s handwriting with their classmates and your handwriting with your colleagues. It will help you understand how bad or good your handwriting is. Based on that, you can follow the appropriate method and learn how to improve your handwriting skills.
2. Let Other People Read Your Writing
You can ask other people to read something you have written to check the readability and structure of your letters. Asking different people to read your writing is a good exercise. After all, research shows that every person has different reading abilities. Thus, making other people read your handwriting will help you better analyze your skills.
3. Consult Teachers
The best practice to improve your child’s handwriting skills is to involve their teachers in the process. Teachers can help you identify problems with your child’s handwriting. They can also suggest proper handwriting practices as they have more experience.
4. Observe Your Posture
Don’t only focus on the end product. Observe your and your child’s posture while writing. Sometimes, your grip on the pencil is not correct, or you might be putting too much pressure on the pen.
So, take some time to observe yourself and your child while writing. It will help you find the actual cause behind your poor handwriting.
Related Reading: How Can Teachers Help English Language Learners
What Are the Traits of Good Handwriting Style?
Good handwriting is an important personal trait for everyone, especially kids. It helps with academics and improves concentration levels. So, to know how to have a neat handwriting, you must first understand how good handwriting styles look.
Here are vital characteristics of good handwriting style:
1. Letter shape: Consistent and proper letter shape is an essential handwriting trait. Ensure that all your letters have specific shapes and are easy to read.
2. Letter spacing: The space between two letters is known as letter spacing. You can choose to leave no space between letters like the cursive writing style. On the contrary, you can leave a reasonable amount of space between your letters, like in a traditional handwriting style. But you have to follow the same letter spacing throughout your document.
3. Letter slope: The slope of a letter means the angle at which it bends or slants. Most of the letters of the English language bend on the right side. So, the best handwriting practice is to keep your hand loose on the right end.
4. Pressure on the paper: This determines how much pressure a writer puts on the paper while writing. Putting too much pressure on the paper can leave an imprint on the following few pages. Plus, it will impact the flow of your writing.
5. Connecting strokes: A stroke that connects two letters are known as connecting strokes. These are essential to make your handwriting look flawless. Thus, a good handwriting trait is to write a letter in a flow.
6. Dots and cross strokes: Dots are used in some lowercase letters, like “j” and “i”. Cross strokes are used in letters like “t” and “f.” You can only call someone’s handwriting good if all dots and cross strokes are consistent and added in the right place.
7. Space between the words: Apart from the proper spacing between letters, good handwriting also has consistent spacing between the words. Therefore, your handwriting will be more readable when you give proper space between your words.
8. Consistent flow: A good handwriting style has a consistent flow from the beginning to end when it comes to strokes. Handwriting only looks good when every letter has the same size and shape.
How to Improve Handwriting in 10 Easy Ways
Does your child have messy handwriting? Is poor handwriting making your child conscious and less confident in class?
In that case, you must use innovative ways to improve your child’s handwriting early. That is because once your child adopts a wrong handwriting style and uses it over the years, it will get harder and harder to correct.
This happens because the brain’s prefrontal cortex, where working memory is stored, is less developed in children than in adults. Thus, a child can learn how to improve handwriting faster than adults.
So, whenever you spot poor handwriting qualities in your child’s writing, it would help if you immediately take action. Here’s how to improve the handwriting of your child:
1. Select the Right Paper and Pen
For the best handwriting, it is essential to select the right stationery. In addition, a pencil and pen your child uses to write must have the right size and shape.
A pen or pencil that is too thin or too thick can easily be the cause of your child’s messy handwriting. Instead, select a pencil that your child can hold properly. For example, toddlers have small hands with a less firm grip, so a thick and short pencil is perfect for them.
Moreover, golf-sized pencils let children form a proper grip rather than using their entire fists to hold a big pencil.
Besides the pencil, ensure that the paper your child is writing on has the right thickness and texture. Again, a paper that is too thick or too thin can make children’s handwriting suffer.
2. Help Children Achieve the Proper Grip
The way your child holds a pencil determines their handwriting quality. Thus, you should ensure that your child has a proper grip on their pencil.
For preschoolers and kindergarteners, the best grip is the “tripod grasp.” Your child should hold a pencil between the thumb and index finger while the middle finger rests on it. Meanwhile, the ring and small finger curl to the palm.
To help your child form a comfortable tripod grasp, give them these activities:
- Use small crayons
- Cut some paper with plastic scissors
- Thread beads
- Finger painting
- Use tweezers
- Build blocks
A solid and comfortable grip on a writing instrument is essential for good handwriting. Therefore, if your child struggles with the tripod grasp, try other grasps like the cylindrical grasp, digital grasp, etc.
3. Hold Their Hand
Do you find words imprinted on the blank pages of your child’s notebook? This is a sign of stress. It shows that your child may be writing under stress and is applying too much pressure, which is not good for their handwriting and mental state.
So, you should help your child apply accurate pressure while writing. For this, you might have to do a little hand-holding. Grab your child’s hand while they write and show them how much pressure they should apply to write well.
Moreover, create a relaxing environment for your child. They should not feel stressed or uncomfortable while writing for it will reflect on their writing flow.
4. Form a Writing Speed
Speed is a crucial factor in writing. If your child writes too fast, they can lose control and not form correct letter shapes. On the contrary, if your child writes too slowly, they might not be able to complete their school assignments on time.
In the beginning, you should allow your child to take their time to write. Let them think and process information properly before writing.
Gradually, when your child learns to write letters that are consistent and the same size, you can ask them to speed up their writing. For example, you can give them a timeline to write certain lines. It will improve their writing speed, and they can better control their motor movements.
5. Create a Fun Writing Environment
Your child should not feel nervous while writing. Instead, they should feel happy and motivated to write.
Children always feel encouraged when they try new things. So, instead of giving them plain paper and pencils to write, create an environment where your child can learn to write while having fun.
For example, give your children colorful crayons and paper to practice writing. You could also get a kiddie table and chair for your child to sit in the right posture for writing.
Work on creating a fun ambiance that can excite children to practice more handwriting assignments.
6. Understand the Underlying Problem
Don’t force your child to improve their handwriting skills. Instead, try to understand why your child struggles to write neat words.
Several reasons can impact a kid’s handwriting. For instance, low confidence can push the child to write poorly. Often, children use messy writing to cover up their spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Moreover, children suffering from sensory disorders also find it hard to write. For example, some kids on the autistic spectrum may find it challenging to recognize shapes, leading to poor handwriting.
Once you understand why your child’s handwriting is untidy, you can better help them.
7. Work on Motor Skills
Physical and mental coordination is essential to writing well. Thus, enhance your child’s motor skills so they can hold pencils properly to write neatly.
Motor skills also help children maintain the right writing posture. Also, it can improve agility and coordination to develop a beautiful handwriting style.
There are some non-writing-related activities that you can try to improve your child’s motor skills, like:
- Using cutlery
- Throwing and catching a ball
- Making clay toys
- Playing Jenga, and many more!
8. Befriend Alphabets
Usually, children struggle to form a consistent writing flow. They often write all the letters in different sizes with irregular spacing.
So helping your child understand the formation and slant of each alphabet will go a long way in improving their handwriting. Teach them how much size, width, and distance each letter will take on paper and help them distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters with letter writing books. These books come with letter tracing that your child can use to learn each letter’s curves and strokes.
9. Read More
Encourage your child to read more. Reading well-proportioned words will help your kids understand letter formation and spacing.
You can indulge your child in interactive reading material that can hold their attention for longer.
10. Practice, Practice, and Practice
Practice is what will help your child develop the perfect handwriting style. Handwriting is an art that requires constant practice to master.
So, make it a target for your child to write a page daily. You may need to use innovative approaches to motivate your child to do this exercise every day, but it will be well worth it.
You could even change things up once in a while. Taking your children to the beach and letting them write on the sand or getting easy-to-clean markers and letting your kids write on the wall or the fridge may be more fun for them than just writing with a boring old pencil every day.
Related Reading: Amazing Writing Prompt For Kids To Improve Confidence
Conclusion: How to Improve Handwriting
Good handwriting not only helps get higher academic grades but also improves your concentration and confidence.
Thus, whether you want to improve your own handwriting skills or your child’s, today is the right time to start. All the tips on how to improve handwriting that are shared above are suitable for children of all ages. So, all you need to do is follow the right steps to form an impressive handwriting style!
Related Reading: Best Positive Affirmations for Kids to Improve Confidence & Belief
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can one improve their handwriting quickly?
If you want to start learning how to have better handwriting in a short period, follow these easy tips:
- Write slowly
- Identify weak areas
- Focus on your letters’ size and height
- Copy someone else handwriting style
- Watch calligraphy videos, etc.
Most kids spend time typing on devices, how can we get them in the habit of writing more?
Since everything from learning to entertainment has moved online, it can be difficult to get kids to practice their handwriting skills. Parents can try creative solutions like getting their kids to write a letter to their grandparents or relatives, making thank-you cards for their teacher, or even making a shopping list.
If a child has a learning disability, how can we help them improve their handwriting?
Children with ASD have lower handwriting quality as they may struggle with motor skills. However, with appropriate techniques and patience, you can improve handwriting for children with learning disabilities:
- Help them improve their motor skills
- Identify their writing challenges
- Use sensory toys
- Try new strategies like finger painting.