How to help your child improve their handwriting

In the digital age of today, the importance of good handwriting is sadly becoming a thing of the past.

However, this crucial skill can benefit children in many ways, especially as they grow and eventually enter the world of work.

Good handwriting takes time and patience. Encourage your child to practice their handwriting and improve their technique with these helpful tips.

The importance of good handwriting

Having good handwriting is largely seen as an unnecessary skill in the modern world.

With computers and iPads now commonplace in most schools, your child’s handwriting technique may be being overlooked.

However, good handwriting skills can actually help children develop their reading and spelling abilities. By activating the visual perception of letters, your child’s reading fluency could be greatly improved.

It is also believed that neat handwriting can be a good indicator of success in other subjects, as it can have a positive impact on grades.

By working with your child to improve their handwriting, you will be boosting their confidence at school. Children with good handwriting are more likely to proofread their own work, spotting mistakes and bettering their writing.

Common handwriting problems

Before you look at how to go about improving your child’s handwriting, it’s important to identify the current issues.

Common handwriting problems usually fall into four main areas: letter formation, sizing, spaces between words, and line alignment.

Some children also have difficulty grasping the pencil, or perhaps move their entire arm while writing. This leads to unclear handwriting and an uncomfortable experience.

Knowing how much pressure to apply to the paper can also be tricky for young children to get to grips with. Others may have problems with the paper too – poor paper placement or struggling to stabilise the paper can result in wonky handwriting

How to improve handwriting for kids

Kid doing lesson at home. Child boy writing in worksheet with pencil.

Once you have pinpointed where they might need help, you can begin to learn how to improve your child’s handwriting.

If handwriting is something they knowingly struggle with, turning the activity into something fun and exciting is an easy way to build their confidence and encourage them to practice.

Developing the physical requirements of writing – such as properly holding and guiding a pen or pencil – can be done through drawing and puzzle games. These activities sneakily insert elements of handwriting practice into your child’s learning, often unbeknownst to them.

Similarly, when it does come to writing actual words, games such as hangman, anagrams, and other word puzzles will capture their attention more than old-fashioned handwriting lines. The internet is full of worksheets to help improve handwriting, meaning you can mix up the lessons with your child each week.

One of the most important things to remember is to inspire their creativity and encourage them to see handwriting in a way that is fun and approachable. Away from more formal handwriting tasks, getting your child to write on steamy mirrors, a bowl of leftover sauce, or even outside in a patch of mud, will be beneficial to them seeing the joys of writing.

How to improve handwriting for teenagers

Many teenagers still struggle with their handwriting and don’t know how to improve. You may find your teen has a negative attitude to their handwriting, mostly due to a lack of confidence and bad writing habits.

Encourage your teenager to really use the lines and margins of their paper. Tall letters should, as a rule, touch the top line, and the first letter of the next should be neatly next to the margin. If your teen is right-handed, show them how to place the thumb of their left hand in the margin to keep the page in a stable position, making it easier to write.

While cursive lettering is encouraged at primary school, sticking to one handwriting style is preferable when improving a teenager’s handwriting. Simply put, if they don’t write in cursive, don’t make them start – ensuring their letters are clear and legible is more important.

Many students often miss out on top grades because of poor handwriting., as it can be just as important as memorising facts and figures. If your teenager is currently studying for exams, prompt them to work some traditional handwriting practice into their revision.

Best handwriting pens for children

It could be that your child or teenager is simply using the wrong pen when writing. Many school handwriting pens and pencils are designed for younger people struggling with their lettering and can assist in encouraging them to write more clearly and neatly, boosting their confidence. If they are trying to improve their penmanship, choosing a pen or pencil with a comfortable grip is a good place to start.

The Pelikan Griffix Mechanical Pencil has been manufactured to help your child’s writing skills develop, featuring a large and soft grip. It’s also available in right- and left-handed, for even greater control of the pencil.

Likewise, the Scribolino by Faber-Castell also boasts an ergonomic grip and is suitable for both hands.

Great for early writers, the Schneider Base Senso Rollerball pen is intended for those learning to write. A warning light illuminates when too much pressure is applied, and there is also a large, rubberised, ergonomic grip zone.

Our wide range of pens and pencils will help your child improve their handwriting, or check out The Pen Company blog for more writing tips and tricks to encourage them to enjoy the process of writing.

Mariah enjoys typing articles for our blog on her laptop but she'd much rather be writing them by hand with a luxury fountain pen!