Children simply love to create! Whether they’re drawing, painting, sculpting…
Today in 2013, we are often surrounded by technology; keypads, keyboards and other gadgets now end up doing our jobs for us, but our handwriting on a day-to-day basis is still imperative as a life skill.
Not only is handwriting an expression of who we are and how creative we may be, but it is unique not only to us but unique for our children too – our children whose early lives in school are ruled by the pen and pencil.
Research has even shown that handwriting has a direct impact not only on the quality of writing that a child displays, but also their overall academic performance at school. When you take a moment to consider this, this is really very important!
Taking a quick look at both Miley Cyrus’ and Justin Bieber’s handwriting however, you can see that most children don’t exactly have the best start when it comes to proper handwriting.
Interestingly, handwriting even seems to affect those in the public eye too, as independent autograph seller, Justin King remarks:
“It’s talked about and recognized through the industry.”
“With stars ages 30 and above, they generally have a much more full, legible signature. When you deal with these new people like [teen actress] Elle Fanning, you’re lucky if you get an E and F and a heart for her signature.”
So what can better handwriting do for your children?
It seems that devoting time to your child’s handwriting in the early years is important; the later that you leave it, the harder it is to get children going with their writing.
The main reason for this is due to how they learn and how their brains develop. One experiment used neuro-imaging scans to measure brain activity in preschool children who were shown letters.
One group of children were told to read and say aloud the letters while another practiced writing the letters out. After four weeks, those who practiced writing showed brain activity similar to that of an adult’s.
It seems therefore, that spending twenty or so minutes a day with your child and their handwriting may well be enough to push them ahead developmentally.
Here is a great article by Scholastic that can help give you some creative ideas for working with your child on their handwriting.
But how can you improve your own handwriting?
When writing, some people prefer to print their words, though others prefer to use cursive (‘joined up’) handwriting. Though both can be good if your handwriting is neat, cursive writing is far more accepted and is often preferred.
The great thing, however, is that learning to join up your handwriting is also easy.
Firstly, try a selection of pens and pencils and work out not only which one you prefer, but also which makes your handwriting look the neatest.
If you happen to be left-handed, make sure that you have a pen that flows well and does not dig into the paper. This is because you’ll need to ‘push’ the pen across the paper instead of pulling it, which is what a right-handed person does.
If you have to think about how you need to form your letters and words, practice forming those letters for roughly ten minutes a day; this will help your writing flow and become more ‘automatic’.
As you go, move on to harder words, sentences and paragraphs; by working just ten minutes a day, you will show improvement in no time.
You never know, you may even one day want to use one of our calligraphy sets, which make for great practice and enjoyment.