Better, it should be the reason to teach fluent handwriting.
Please see this article in the Washington Post. It’s what has always seemed logical to me, but now there is proof. As you read the article note the word, “longhand,” meaning ordinary handwriting. No specific alphabet is mentioned, but I imagine many who took notes by hand used their own personal interpretation of print-like writing—a hybrid. Print was what they first learned, and we naturally go back to what was first learned, making some changes for better speed.
If you want to write fluently your hand and fingers need to relax. Some have unorthodox pen holds that work, but most are inefficient and too tight to allow easy movement. I just discovered Twist ’n Write, an ergonomic, automatic pencil. It’s small enough for a young child’s hand.
I tried it out with a couple of First Graders who looked at it, thought it was weird, tried it out and then declared it cool. “Where did you get it?” “I want one!” The fingers are guided to a traditional tripod hold. One child discovered that part of the handle is an eraser.
Disclaimer: I have no connection with the company. I just want to share what I think is a great tool.
Eden tells me that she bought the app, Letters Make Words, to help her write when using a stylus on her iPad. I designed the app for young, beginning writers, and never thought that it might help adults as well.
This is a great endorsement! It’s more to the point than the usual. It goes beyond just improving or changing letter formations, and shows the purpose, the workplace environment with efficient note-taking.
More and more Kitty Burns Florey speaks out about the value of italic. She believes it should be taught to all children in all schools. If taught well it evolves into a personal hand. Some may want to perfect its looks, and some may just want a workhorse handwriting. Not all joins need to be made, and some may get added. And so it should be.
It’s so easy to teach the simple basic letters to the young.
Florey wrote Script and Scribble and it’s still a good seller. To get a glimpse of her views, you might read her article for the Huffington Post: http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kitty-burns-florey/handwriting-book_b_3998345.html
A recent blog came my way about children with left-hand dominance being forced to use their right hand. I hope this is not a practice in the United States, but the article reminded me of a related problem.
Teachers are generally in elementary classrooms with no prior preparation to teach handwriting. They place paper on desks straight up, directly in front of each child and parallel to their desks.
Right-handers manage better than left-handers, although paper should be placed to their right and slanted a little. Left-handers do not do so well. Too often they hook their wrists to accommodate paper placement that should have been placed to the left and tilted. The child should be able to sit straight and be able to see the writing without twisting the wrist. He or she would then be pulling downstrokes toward the elbow with no danger of smudging the writing or a drawing.