Getting a pen license was one of Erin’s highlights in the classroom last academic year. There has been a huge emphasis on how to improve your handwriting in recent years. Therefore before the children are given their first handwriting pen they need to reach a certain standard.
I remember Erin bouncing out of school to tell me she had been given her pen license. She was the first in her class and it was an achievement she was very proud of.
Did you know that, according to the Institute of Education, the quality of handwriting education in primary schools can have a direct impact on success into secondary and higher education. Setting high expectations at primary school age is vital to sucess. There are many activities that parents can do at home to support teaching children to improve your handwriting skills.
As a secondary school teacher I have seen many examples of handwriting and I know first hand what a difference it makes. When I was marking exams the quality of handwriting was so important. Afterall if you struggle to read an essayy you can’t mark it accuratly. When marking A Level exams for one of the boards I actually had to pass on a script as I could not read it.
Furthermore, the National Literacy Trust suggests that as many as 25% of UK adults are classed as ‘functionally illiterate’ with many struggling to write a birthday card or a cheque.
Improve your handwriting tips and tricks
- Handwriting starts with colouring. Give young children lots of opportunity to colour in. This teaches good hand control.
- Mark making is also part of the process to being able to write. Drawing shapes, following wiggly lines is all part of the learning process. This is why children’s activity books include mazes and joining things up. Dot to dot for example teaches pen control.
- Give your children plenty of opportunities to write, make lists, play shops and write menus. It all helps.
- Tracing or using wipe over books can also help. Erin enjoyed using Wipe Clean Work Books: Tracing and Pen Control.
- Mark making doesn’t need to be limited to paper. The beach and sand drawing with sticks can all help. Likewise finger painting or even shaving foam, whipped squirty cream can all be used.
- Handwriting then progresses to cursive writing and getting thhe sizing of letters uniform. Your child will benefit from practising at this stage. Erin loved practicing at home on lined paper. Lots of praise encourages young children.
- Uniball have created FREE handwriting worksheets for children which are really useful to print and use at home.
Handwriting is so important and such a determiner of future educational success. It is therefore crucial to support your child as they learn this important skill. Do let me know in the comments how else you have encouraged your children to write.