Kindergarten and Thereafter

Recently I observed a half hour Kindergarten handwriting class. It was exceptional! It was all about hand and finger strengthening and finger positioning as it applies to holding a writing tool. No letters. No numbers.

Each child had a pre-writing project. Some squeezed a hole punch, making a lovely mess on the floor. Some used tweezers to pick up tiny fish to put in a lake (the lake was a little landscape drawing.) There were seven different activities, so the children could do one and then move on to another. Every child was having a great time.

Afterwards one of the teachers emailed me. Her comment, “It was a joy to see the children so engaged and appropriately challenged.”

Young hands need preparation for writing. Learning 62 legible characters is a task for little hands. They try. If young hands are not sufficiently developed to hold a pencil comfortably, children will work on the shapes with tight, tense fists. Among educators and parents demand is high and correct that young children learn their abc’s, but we need to look ahead to the future of these students.

Inefficient death gripes on pencils and pens cannot yield the fluency students need in later academic years and careers. Legible writing will be slow and possibly painful. Not a problem in the age of technology? Yes, it is! It’s proven that notes taken by hand provide the best way to retain information.

Posted in All ages, Beginners, Education, Older Students & Adults, Pen/Pencil Hold, Physical comfort, Posture | Leave a comment |
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The Reason to teach handwriting.

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 a writer successfully changes up his print writing by adding a few joins, it often will have a strong resemblance to cursive italic. Why not insure success by starting with italic?

Posted in All ages, Beginners, cursive, Education, Older Students & Adults, research | Leave a comment |
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A Child’s Writing Tool

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.

Posted in Beginners, cursive, Education, Pen/Pencil Hold, Physical comfort | Leave a comment |
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A Versitile App

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.AppIcon


Posted in All ages, Directional Movement, Education, Pen/Pencil Hold | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment |
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New & Improved!

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.DAKnew


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An Advocate for Italic

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:

Posted in All ages, Beginners, cursive, Education, News | Leave a comment |
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Playful Activity for Good Pencil Hold

Tissue & squirrel

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A Small Video

This small video is not mine. It has  a LARGE message:

It is my great good fortune that Dr. Sassoon is both a friend and a valued mentor.

Posted in All ages, Beginners, cursive, Directional Movement, Education, Older Students & Adults | Leave a comment |
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A New Video

Handwriting for Children: Developing Motor Memory

It would help older persons who are improving their handwriting. It’s all about learning the feel of your hand and pen as it travels through letters to achieve the look of the writing.

Posted in All ages, Beginners, Directional Movement, Education, Older Students & Adults, Rhythmic Movement | Tagged | 1 Comment |
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An Exceptional Testimonial

Posted in All ages, cursive, Education, Older Students & Adults | Leave a comment |
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