Handwriting is something of a lost art. Consider daily communications. We text loved ones on a touchscreen device. We communicate with co-workers on a laptop or desktop keyboard, and we use voice recognition tools like SIRI to help set reminders.
Of course a pen and paper aren’t completely obsolete, but it’s hard to argue the fact that they are used less commonly than previous generations. In light of this, it’s more important than ever to bring handwriting into your daily routine to show your children that handwriting is an important skill!
Here are 5 ways to be a role model and encourage handwriting at home:
- Grocery Lists: Although it’s convenient to start a shopping list on your smartphone, make an effort to write it down on paper. If your child is just starting to write letters, let them help with the beginning letter of each list item! If they are comfortable writing, ask them to write while you dictate.
- Calendar: Place a family calendar where everyone can see. Hand-write upcoming events that affect the whole family, like Movie Night or School Play. Not only will your child see you writing, but you can speak about upcoming events so your child is prepared.
- Journaling: Perhaps you don’t enjoy journaling daily, but for the sake of practicing handwriting, make an effort to let your child see you jotting thoughts down every so often. When asked, “What are you doing?” you can respond “I write my thoughts down so I don’t forget about my day. Do you want to try?”
- Practice the Grip: For young children or those who have a hard time with penmanship, consider practicing the all-important pincer grip. Holding a pencil requires a strong pincer grip that you can practice by manipulating small items. Play with Legos or small game pieces like marbles. Pinch clothespins or use puzzles with small knobs!
- Get the Family involved: Younger siblings look to older siblings for guidance, so enlist their help for handwriting! Instead of an older sibling simply writing for their younger brother or sister, make sure the younger child is doing the majority of the work. An older sibling is the perfect guide and companion!
For older children who are comfortable with handwriting, consider working on cursive if you aren’t already. Start with a beautiful flowing signature, and perhaps even look at examples of calligraphy for inspiration!
Here’s an interesting case for cursive from the Washington Post if you’d like to join the discussion.