How can teenagers improve their handwriting?
It’s a common observation that numerous teenagers and secondary school pupils struggle with poor handwriting and lack the knowledge on how to enhance it. This issue may stem from inadequate instruction on correct writing techniques or, in some cases, a diagnosis of dyspraxia, dyslexia, or dysgraphia. The impact of messy handwriting often extends beyond the classroom, affecting schoolwork and grades.
Students may receive unfavourable marks from educators and examiners who struggle to decipher their handwriting, leading to judgments of being ‘lazy’ or ‘unintelligent.’ Research consistently indicates the correlation between legible handwriting and academic success. (H McCarroll, Cogent Education, 2017 )In light of these challenges, here are eight practical tips to improve handwriting:
1. Correct posture
- It is of paramount importance to foster a proper posture before undertaking the act of writing. This entails …i)maintaining a straight back, avoiding any inclination towards slouching or hunching over the paper. ii)The thumb of the non-writing hand should be positioned at the edge of the paper to provide necessary support, precluding it from resting under the table or beneath the chin. iii)Ensuring that the table height aligns with approximately waist level and facilitating the grounding of the feet further contributes to promoting optimal posture for writing.The conscientious effort to sustain an upright back is as a fundamental aspect in fostering both good posture and, consequently, facilitating improved handwriting.
2. Use standard wide-ruled paper
3. The margin
Many students seem unaware of the practical benefits that margins bring to enhancing the presentation of written work. Margins play a crucial role by serving various functions, such as organising numbers in an orderly manner, especially in the context of dates and numbered lists.Their inclusion substantially contributes to the overall aesthetic presentation of a student’s sentences, instilling a sense of neatness and tidiness. Margins also play a pivotal role in structuring paragraphs and indenting sentences for enhanced readability.
Furthermore, it is advisable to encourage right-handed students to adopt the practice of placing their left thumb within the margin. This practice not only promotes stability but also contributes to maintaining a consistent writing position. It is noteworthy that within the framework of the Magic Link Handwriting Programme, every page deliberately incorporates a margin, underscoring the importance of cultivating and advocating for sound writing practices.
4. Triangular-shaped pencils or pens
Opting for a triangular-shaped pencil or pen is highly recommended. The ergonomic design of this shape ensures a comfortable grip, contributing to enhanced fluency and control during writing. Evidence indicates that ergonomic writing tools, such as the Pentel gel pens with a triangular finger grip, have demonstrated positive effects on handwriting performance.
The gel-based ink in these pens adds an additional advantage by making handwriting more fluid. This fluidity not only aids in the smooth and continuous flow of sentences but also significantly contributes to increased writing speed. Studies have shown that the ergonomic design of writing instruments, coupled with the advantages of gel ink, can positively impact overall writing quality and efficiency.
5. Correct grip
6. Differentiate letter heights
7. The simple Magic Link font
Students are often confused when they are taught letters with excessive flicks and curls. It is imperative to impart instruction in a simple font, minimising curls and entry strokes as much as possible. This simplification significantly aids students in achieving neater writing, as the letters become easier to form. Eliminating lead-in flicks on various occasions has demonstrated a prompt improvement in legibility and the speed of handwriting.
Given that handwriting serves as the primary mode of written communication for schoolchildren, it becomes paramount that letters are executed swiftly and precisely. This becomes especially crucial during examinations when students face the pressure of answering questions within highly constrained timeframes. The Magic Link Handwriting font stands out by ensuring that each letter is crafted in the simplest and speediest manner, concurrently promoting both speed and legibility. In the exam setting, examiners can more easily read and allocate higher marks to papers that are neat and legible, in stark contrast to those that are messy or illegible.
8. Follow the 30-step Magic Link programme