People often ask me whether I am able to improve handwriting. The simple is yes- with the help of a few key ingredients, Having great handwriting is essential for so many reasons, whether it’s a matter of self-esteem and confidence, or simply scoring a high mark in your upcoming exam! By following The Magic Link Handwriting Programme, I have transformed thousands of student’s handwriting from messy and illegible to neat and tidy.
But what are the 7 best steps to improve handwriting? This post will give you some crucial tips necessary to dramatically improve these abilities.
1. Improve handwriting requires correct posture.
I am often amazed to see how children are able to write in the most contorted of positions. It is an almost everyday sight for me to see children writing with their heads flat on the table and their cheeks horizontally on their books. I am always truly astounded when I watch letters being formed this way but never surprised to see that this almost ‘gymnastic’ posture will adversely affect neatness. The peculiar angle of the body in relation to the pen and paper makes it almost impossible to achieve neat handwriting. Furthermore the angles of the eyes prevent accurate proof reading. It is therefore crucial to encourage a correct posture before attempting to write. This should include keeping backs up straight and no slouching! I also like to encourage the non-writing hand to remain on the table and for the pupil to use that hand to support the paper.
2. Use standard 8mm wide-ruled paper to keep letters a uniform level.
The vast majority of all children who have messy handwriting produce writing where all the letters are the same height. There is no height differentiation between any letters. This is because there are so many types of ‘handwriting paper’ that have caused confusion! When the lines are too wide, children do not attempt to touch the top line, and when there are no lines on the paper children do not know how to keep the angle straight. The best advice to facilitate neat handwriting is to use simple, wide-ruled paper, which has a margin. The type of paper to be used can be found on the stationary section on www.magiclinkhandwriting website. Standard, wide-ruled paper is commonly found in school exercise books as well as used in exams, so pupils become used to this and are able to write neatly when it comes to the actual exam itself.
3. Teach children what a margin is.
There are so many children today who do not know what a margin is. The margin is essential for number placement, used when writing dates and numbering bullet points, and this makes a pupil’s sentences appear neat and tidy. The other important use, is that right – handed children are able to place their left thumb in the margin to enable the page to be kept in a stable position. Every page in the Magic Link Handwriting Programme has a margin so encourage and promote good practise.
4. Hold the pencil or pen correctly.
If pupils are desperate to improve handwriting this cannot be achieved unless the pencil or pen is held correctly. It is crucial to use a triangular shaped pencil or pen. Surprisingly these are difficult to buy on the high street but is essential for handwriting success. There is a full page dedicated to this on www.magiclinkhandwriting.com website. It is important for all aged pupils to be shown exactly how to position their fingers. They should use ‘frogs legs’ fingers and it is essential not to wrap their thumb around the pen or pencil. If they do, then they often obscure their letters and cannot see what they are writing and proof reading becomes almost impossible!
5. Improve handwriting by differentiating letter heights.
A common problem affecting the ability of children to improve their handwriting is that they write letters, which are too small or too big. It is a common sight to see all letters one size, which makes their work appear immature and child-like. Many pupils have never been taught how important the contrast is between letter heights. The 30-step Magic Link Handwriting Programme teaches the ‘tall’ letters and the ‘tiny ‘ letters right from the start, even before cursive handwriting is introduced. It is this important element of the handwriting programme that begins to transform messy scrawl and begins to improve handwriting.
6. Teach simple letter formation.
Children often become confused when there are taught too many flicks and curls in letters. It is crucial to teach a simple font, which reduces the amount of curls as much as possible, and then it is much easier for a child to achieve neat writing, as the letters are so much easier to form. On many occasions, as soon as the lead-in flick is removed, pupils quickly improve handwriting.
Handwriting is about communication and it is essential that the letters are written quickly and precisely. This is particularly important in examinations and when pupils are under pressure to answer questions under highly pressurised conditions with rigid time restrictions. The Magic Link Handwriting font ensures that each and every letter is written in the most simple and speedy font to promote speed and legibility at the same time.
7. Learn cursive writing.
I am always amazed to see how many secondary school children are not able to write using fast, cursive, joined-up letters. Writing in a non-joined-up way simply renders handwriting slower and more difficult. There will be continuous gaps in words and the repetitive tedious action of continually forming each letter; one by one causes aching fingers and muscle fatigue. How is it possible to write a 3-hour examination paper in this manner? How these students must suffer! The good news is that pupils are able to improve handwriting and learn cursive, joined-up writing using the Magic Link Handwriting Programme. They will learn the simple method of how to join letters which promotes neat spacing and tidy writing. Speed can be increased without affecting legibility. Examiners will be able to read their examination papers and allocate high marks and pupils will feel proud and confident of their new handwriting.