The handwriting of every child differs. While some tend to have extraordinary writing skills, others simply do not care how they write and just want to get it done with it. However, before discussing ways to improve your child’s handwriting, we must get rid of this misconception that handwriting is related to a child’s intelligence.
In India, parents have this belief that if their children have good handwriting, the kid will be naturally brilliant in academics. That is a baseless assumption. That being said, handwriting does matter. Even if not appealing to look at, it should at least be readable. Your child will be evaluated based on written examinations and a legible handwriting will make it easy for the examiners to check the answer sheets.
The good news is that handwriting can be made better with systematic practice and a lot of patience from both your side and your child’s side.
Here are some things to try to get your child started on the correct path.
1. Turn practice into a fun activity
Lure your child with a jumbo pencil or a bunch of rainbow coloured ones. Try not to just give him/her words to copy. Experiment with simple word puzzles, anagrams, a game of hangman or ask him/her to brainstorm lists around a theme to give writing practice a purpose. Give him/her a treat if he/she writes a certain alphabet or draws a number correctly, as this will keep your child motivated.
2. Encourage drawing and puzzle games
To develop the physical requirements of writing, like holding a pencil correctly, posture, control, dexterity and coordination, the more time your child spends handling objects, the better it will be for him/her. Even making your child eat by himself/herself with a spoon can help develop his/her fine motor skills. Make him/her scribble freely on large sheets of paper to familiarise him/her with the touch of a pencil and develop a firm grasp of it.
3. Pinpoint the problem
The most common handwriting issues lie in four main areas: the form of the letter, the size of the alphabets/numbers, the spatial arrangement of the words and the alignment in the line. Centre your child’s practice around letters or concepts that he/she finds difficult and make sure your child uses two hands to control the paper.
4. Writing outside the box
A pile of rice, patch of mud or a foggy mirror make great surfaces for running his/her fingers through. Whether your child’s practising with his/her fingers, a stick or a pencil, keeping him/her engaged is more important than making him/her write the alphabet. You need to ensure they don’t think that writing is hard. Once that is done, teaching him/her to write would be a piece of cake.
5. Make use of technology
Let him/her play educational games on your phone or tablet to increase his/her familiarity with the alphabets. Plenty of apps available on the Google Play store have made it easy to write.