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Handwriting Skills: Neatness Counts!

Young child learning handwriting

Have you ever gotten a test back and you had lost marks because of messiness, or because the teacher couldn’t read some of what you had written?

My son brought home a test the other day and he had lost ten marks because the teacher couldn’t read what he had written! Ten marks! She said that messy handwriting means a messy mind, and that he needed to work on handwriting, and other organizational skills.

Whether or not there is research to prove or disprove this, neat handwriting is generally considered to be a reflection of greater organizational skills. It’s a cultural construct: we think that people with messy, or illegible handwriting must be disorganized in other aspects of their lives as well. Unfortunately, most teachers think along the same lines — if it isn’t well organized on the page, then it probably isn’t well thought out. So, more often than not, sloppy handwriting can equal poor grades.

Good handwriting isn’t just important for test taking — there are many other instances when we need to practice good penmanship. Here are some of them:

  • For taking notes in class
  • Editing your work, or other’s work
  • Making comments in margins of texts or books
  • Writing in your agenda
  • Writing essay portion of tests — often the essay portion is the most weighted portion of the exam
  • Jotting down ideas and inspirations when they come to you in unusual locations

Good handwriting isn’t just important for school — there are many other times when being able to write well (print or cursive) comes in handy:

  • On job applications — Some employers won’t even consider meeting people whose application borders on the illegible
  • On thank you cards
  • To write urgent notes to others
  • To take messages
  • Addressing a card
  • Writing a grocery list

Good handwriting isn’t just important to the upper grades at school. Did you know that learning to print is a great tool for the development of fine motor skills for younger children? Or did you know that it helps develop attention to detail skills? — both of which play a big role later on in school, and in life.

The simple act of improving your child’s writing skills is a great way to demonstrate to a teacher the capacity for improvement. Your child’s teacher will think, if the handwriting can improve, so can everything else. Okay, that may be a bit of a leap-but working on making the “G” a little less round, and ensuring that the “T’s” are crossed and the “I’s” are dotted is a great place to start. This is because good, legible handwriting begins with a little organization — this in turn, transfers to other areas of school, and life. But more on how handwriting can impact life goals next time.

Link:How to Improve Your Handwriting from eHow.com

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