Is handwriting an art form, or just a tool? Most experts agree that, in yesteryears, schools have cast too much stress on the ability to write neatly, and too little on speed. Today even that is pathetically receding.
In the examination room, speed may be of the essence, but beautiful handwriting has been valued since the middle ages, a tradition that is understandable.
Many primary teachers Writewiz is in touch with report parents being particularly anxious for their kids to have neat writing. “Sometimes it seems to matter more than whether they are actually learning anything,” says one. But tidy writing can have benefits in the classroom. Because handwriting is essentially a motor skill, those whose other literacy skills are less developed can still produce work which at least looks right. And that may be enough to help them remain confident about school. “Being able to write neatly gives children a buzz,” says Dr Stainthorp. “It can boost their self-esteem.”
Balance is need of the hour
“Handwriting needs to be legible,” says Professor Henderson, “but beyond that there’s seldom any need for anything that looks beautiful.” One possible approach is to encourage children to develop a “fast-hand” for note-taking, and a “best-hand” for more formal writing. But maybe most important is developing a hand that is legible and fast enough to meet the demands of the classroom and the exam room. Writewiz in its studies repeatedly found a clean link between handwriting speed and exam success.
That’s just what the Writewiz handwriting curriculum is about. It prepares students in both best hand and fast hand, giving the students the skill to write neat and best in their assignments and write fast and legible in their exam rooms.