So, why is a successful handwriting lesson crucial? It can be tough to execute an effective lesson plan if we’re unsure of its significance and impact. Understanding the short term and long term benefits gives us the knowledge we need to follow through. Here’s what I’ve learned about the importance of a strong foundation in handwriting?
How Disregarding Handwriting Mastery Backfires
Handwriting is the foundation of English literature. Students who do not master this prerequisite to writing will struggle later. We know that fluency in basic computation supports the ability to complete complex equations. Similarly, literacy skills are gradually built upon fluid penmanship.
Not long after handwriting practice begins, students are introduced to new literary concepts. Progressive milestones require students to exercise additional effort. Nevertheless, it takes time and energy for kids to perfect their strokes and letter placement.
Insufficient results make learning new literacy skills increasingly difficult. As a result, spelling, punctuation, and composition become more stressful to learn.
When handwriting isn’t fluid, students aren’t able to focus and brainstorm as well. Resulting in spelling errors, lack of creative writing, and slow progress. This might lead to the child questioning their ability to write.
We now see that poor handwriting practice leads to more than your average letter reversals. It’s important to note that once incorrect letter formation habits are learned, they are difficult, but not impossible, to reverse.
It’s never too late to provide encouragement and support for a struggling student. I’ve experienced firsthand the symptoms of unsatisfactory results. After considering what I needed to change in my handwriting lessons, I found the success that I was hoping for.
What Does Fluid Penmanship Look Like?
Now that we’ve covered the immediate complications of poor penmanship, let’s go over the benefits of strong handwriting skills. We could ask any first grade teacher why automatic and neat handwriting is essential. However, let’s summarize the immediate and long-term benefits of perfecting this skill.
Once letter formation becomes fluent, students can then use that focus and energy towards encoding words and structuring sentences. Consequently, going through the next progressive lessons in literature become less demanding.
Fluid penmanship prevents constant pauses which distract and break up the flow of writing and spelling. Effortless handwriting helps kids spell the letters that they are simultaneously sounding out. In addition, students will later learn that fluid writing enables them to easily brainstorm ideas. Successful handwriting practice with quick results simply makes composing easier.
In addition, excellent handwriting boosts the child’s learning experience as they complete one of their first accomplishments in literacy. This leaves them with self confidence in their writing abilities.
Legible handwriting supports all other primary subjects as well. As a student’s handwriting becomes neat, they have the ability to complete self-assessments. As soon as a child can read their own handwriting, they can proofread composition and/or reevaluate math equations.
Insufficient Handwriting Results Don’t Have to Last
Are your kids getting the proper handwriting practice they need? New skills will continually build upon the foundation laid for penmanship. No matter whether that foundation be weak or solid.
We want what is best for our students. Don’t make the same mistakes that I did. Do not overlook the importance of properly building those handwriting skills! Instead, carefully address handwriting instruction.
This doesn’t mean that handwriting instruction need to be time-consuming! Nor does penmanship practice need to stay separated from other literary instruction.
Reconsider whether your handwriting curriculum is rigorous, yet kinder-friendly. Examine whether it is performing your expectations for a successful writing foundation. If you are wondering what a curriculum of that nature would look like, here you can see my checklist of what every handwriting curriculum should have.
Have you seen the influence of penmanship (or the lack thereof)?
Did you overlook the importance of those detailed milestones just as I struggled through my handwriting lessons? Share your “aha moment” as we talked about the impact that penmanship has on the continual education of our students.