The advent of computers has made an impression that writing and penmanship are no longer appreciated or important. The creation of the keyboard has replaced handwriting for some people. Today, one can easily take notes from his or her phone or laptop.
With this being said, are the days of beautiful scripts from the letters popular in the past long gone?
This is not necessarily true. Writing and penmanship are still necessary for everyday lives since people are still required to fill out forms, cheques and take notes every once in a while. Maybe if you know that it took 100 years to craft the perfect template for modern pens, then you would not disregard handwriting.
In addition, handwriting or penmanship is said to influence students’ academic performance, especially in upper grades, where handwriting affects the legibility and quantity of writing produced in exams.
Developing your penmanship is a skill that is best learned in the early years to create good habits and prevent bad ones. Of course, some factors affect the handwriting of a person. Understanding these factors may give you an idea of teaching your kids to develop their handwriting and assess your own.
At an early age, people develop hand dominance which they prefer using for their tasks. This is a crucial step for kids to learn to start practicing and refining their handwriting. Some people even develop the skill to be able to write in both hands.
The developing years of a child are crucial in honing their handwriting skills and in consciously observing any issues they have with the process.
Several conditions may affect your child’s handwriting process, but these can still be treated with therapy once detected early on.
● Visual-perceptual skills: Some kids struggle with visual-perceptual deficits, which means they struggle with recognizing letters and words. This often results in them having problems with reading, differentiating one letter from another, and handwriting letters. When this happens, they may find it hard to write down letters accurately, leading to poor handwriting.
● Fine-motor skills control: Fine-motor control affects a person’s accuracy in guiding the writing tool through the necessary handwriting formations. If a person lacks this, either a result of a medical condition or underdeveloped fine-motor skills, this can affect the legibility of their handwriting.
● Kinesthetic feedback: Kinesthetic feedback affects how a person grips the writing tool and the manner of processing information while writing. If a person has impaired kinesthetic feedback, the movements of his fingers become limited, and it takes time for them to process the visual feedback that will guide their writing.
● Perception or spatial issues: Writing legibly can be a struggle for children, even adults, who have perception or spatial issues. These issues refer to having problems with accurately representing size, slope, shape, direction, and positioning. This can also affect the legibility of their handwriting.
Typically, the thumb, index, and middle fingers are used to control and manipulate the pen or pencil, while the fourth and little finger is tucked into the palm, acting as support. People may differ on how they utilize their fingers to control writing, and it is a matter of preference and getting used to. This variety of approaches affects their handwriting.
Hand and finger strength
Your ability to exert force to write influences your handwriting. For instance, stronger grips and effort result in bolder letters, while gentle grips make you create finer handwriting.
Even your shoulder strength and stability affect how you can maneuver your hand to move easily and write.
Letter, number, and sign awareness
Of course, you need to master your letters, visually and phonetically, to write them well. Then, as you grow older, you learn more about signs and punctuation marks. This comes easily when learned from the younger years. This tip may seem simple and understandable by common sense, but this is crucial and more applicable to people who are learning new languages and their corresponding scripts.
Pencil control may also influence handwriting. Although typically, a person would mindlessly write, oblivious of how the pen or pencil is used, some instances, such as doing calligraphy, require a conscious effort to consider pencil control to achieve the desired handwriting.
People who have problems with their vision can lead to poor hand-eye coordination needed for spatial and motor control unless guided with tools.
Notice how your emotional state often affects your handwriting? Our emotions and mood can dramatically influence our handwriting. If a person is tense, the handwriting can be quite messy and abrupt. If a person is angry, the handwriting can also appear strong but in fragments. Once a person is in a state of affection, they tend to have clearer and more sophisticated handwriting.
All these factors tell you that your handwriting results from all the small things you do, and you have. The way you grip your writing tool, how your hand moves, and how you exert effort in writing are just some factors that determine your handwriting. This also means that you may learn to modify it. It may take some time, especially if you have grown used to your typical handwriting ways, but it is entirely possible.