Writing plays an important role in our communication skills - handwriting, therefore, must be clear.
Did you know that without proper core and hand strength, handwriting fails. As we all know, the hand does most of the work, but if the core is not strong a child is inclined to slouch, causing bad posture that results in weak handwriting and letter formation. The core is a group of muscles that support the pelvis and spine and keep the body in an ideal posture. If your child has poor posture, we advise that you check his/her core strength.
The core has a knock-on effect with the entire body. But to focus on handwriting, it keeps the head, neck and shoulders stable; the shoulders support the arms, elbows and wrists; and the wrists steady and guide the hands and fingers. Illegible handwriting is another sign of poor posture which relates to weak core strength.
Slumping in the chair, arms and hands getting tired quickly, leaning on one hand while writing with the other hand are all signs of poor core strength.
There are many exercises that help strengthen core muscles, these include-
- bicycle riding,
- climbing on a jungle gym,
Remember it’s important to have fun with the activities.
Good handwriting also requires fine motor skills, which are necessary for holding, and writing with, a pencil. Examples of exercises that will help improve these skills include cutting with scissors, building Lego models, doing up and undoing buttons, play dough, as well as opening and closing plastic containers with lids.
Although there are benefits from texting, using shorthand and predictive text can affect written assignments, adversely.
Researchers have found that when learners write letters manually, they learn them more effectively; writing improves memory; and handwriting helps us slow down and fully engage with our thoughts.
You may consider handwriting to be ‘so last century’, but handwriting remains an important skill in the 21st century. Paper and pencil may not be as flashy as the latest handheld tablet, but it will help your child’s learning process. Sometimes the simple things work best…