September 19th, 2017
Let’s be honest, with the bounty of games and YouTube videos, kids don’t have problems with digital literacy. But with the rise of digital tools, there are a few basic skills, such as penmanship, that have been neglected. Poor, illegible handwriting has become such a problem that enrichment classes dedicated to penmanship have already begun to mushroom. According to a 10 Sep report on the Straits Times, at least four centres are offering handwriting improvement classes for children as young as four. The cost for such classes can range from $150 for a one-on-one session to $800 for an entire course, which can last from five to 21-day sessions. Before you get ready to fork out the cash, here are five simple tips to help your child improve their handwriting skills:
The Write Tools
Having the right writing apparatus is important for your child to practise her handwriting. If they have trouble holding onto the pencil, add a non-slip pencil grip. Some children fare better with jumbo sized pencils while others feel more comfortable with a regular-sized pencil. Every kid is different so be sure to identify their preference and provide them with what they are most comfortable with.
For little beginners, lined paper is always the best choice. It helps your child grasp the concept of size and proportion much easier than writing on plain paper. For example, the lines can act as a guide to help them understand that lowercase letters are half the heights of capital ones.
Penmanship is all about fine motor skills that can be exercised in several ways. You can get your child to practise buttoning and unbuttoning clothes or exercise their strength by squeezing a stress ball. It helps to make it fun too. Try making a game out of picking up small objects with tweezers or tongs. Alternatively, you can get them to build things out of Lego bricks as well.
Writing Outside The Box
Not all writing needs to be done with pencil and paper. Foggy mirrors, paints, and sand all present wonderful opportunities for kids to practise their penmanship. They may even enjoy it more because it seems less like work and more like play!
We all know from experience that rushing can cause a serious case of “doctor’s handwriting”. Encouraging your child to take her time when practising can greatly improve her handwriting, giving her more control and prevents her words from flying off the paper.
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