Has your child moved to secondary school and now their writing has got worse?
Are you afraid no one can read your teenagers writing?
Have the teachers told you your child’s handwriting needs to improve?
By the time your child reaches secondary school, time given for handwriting is absent. It’s all about core curriculum subjects lead up to exam choices.
In this article we look at how you can help your teenagers have handwriting that can be easily read and easily marked by examiners.
Often the major problem at this age is handwriting legibility. Either they are writing so fast it cannot be read. Or they are seen to be lazy by not writing enough.
One big difference now is that instead of one teacher getting used to your child’s writing. Multiple teachers need to be able to read their work.
Handwriting legibility matters
It is a myth that everyone in secondary school uses a tablet or computer. The written word still counts. We still have to handwrite exam answers. The only thing that has changed is that examiners mark from computer screens. No longer do they have the opportunity to turn a page to guess what is written. This change will make a big difference to your teenager if their writing is the slightest bit ‘iffy’.
How to help teenager improve their handwriting without massive of handwriting practice sessions
Make sure they write on lined or squared paper. It really helps letter legibility.
Don’t ignore it when they say they have pain after writing. It is often due to the pencil grip used. Causing them a loss of blood flowing to the hand. Teach them simple hand exercises. Their mates won’t even notice that they are doing them.
Pick up a pen
Pens come in different shapes and styles. Most are ergonomically designed. These contours help the fingers feel comfortable when writing. Biro, fibre tip, gel or ink can make a difference to handwriting legibility. Your teenager needs to find the one they like. And it doesn’t have to be the most expensive pen made.
Prepare for speed
Writing fast only happens when you have muscle memory. This is the ability to write without looking. People who don’t have this often take longer to write. Even a simple game of noughts and crosses at breakfast or tea time can help teach muscle memory.
It takes this long for a habit to change. Handwriting can be improved. But there will be no overnight success. Your teenager needs to accept that improving their writing style is a strategic move. There are no quick fixes.
Mistakes (what not to do when doing handwriting practice with your teenager)
Thinking cursive matters
Cursive writing or joined up writing is a handwriting style. It is a choice. What matters is legibility and speed. Joined up writing, if not done right, can affect readability. The number of words written on the page is what counts.
Staying up late
Research has proven that when we are tired we write faster. And this affects handwriting legibility. If your child is tired when they go to school or when they do an exam their handwriting quality will be affected.
Whatever your age, it is possible to improve handwriting. Because we are not seven years old our brains are not so adaptable. It might take longer. But it can be done with practice.
Let me tell you about Ben
His company approached me to ask for handwriting help. It was for their new apprentice. As a supportive company, they wanted to help him improve his handwriting. They felt his bad handwriting was a poor reflection on their company.
Ben needed to handwrite orders and pass them onto the clients. The problem was no one could read Ben’s writing.
We worked together to improve his letter legibility and reduce his letter size. Helping him to meet the requirements of his new job.
Ben’s story shows that even when out of school handwriting affects everyday lives.
To summarise handwriting practice for teenagers:
Handwriting is a life skill. It does not stop when your child leaves primary or secondary school.
It is possible to change bad habits. By teaching your teenager new methods, handwriting legibility and speed will improve. No longer do you need to fear that examiners cannot mark your teenager’s work.
6 Sessions | Any handwriting problem | Homework set between sessions
Your child or teenager might be struggling with letter legibility, size, formation or another common handwriting challenge. You want to see the most significant improvement, in the shortest possible time. Perhaps you’ve even tried additional support at school, with little to no noticeable effect. The result? Your child has become disillusioned with writing. Worse still, their confidence may even have taken a hit, and their school work may have nosedived.
My Skype Handwriting Programme provides a tailored experience for you and your child. Over the course of six sessions working with me, your child can improve any aspect of their handwriting. As for you – mum, dad – I’m here to listen to your concerns, answer your questions and advise as to how you can best help your child.
Family life is hectic (I completely understand) – so I work around you. Let me know what time suits you and we’ll go from there. In between our conveniently set sessions, I’ll provide handwriting tasks that will secure the biggest improvements.