Educators and research advocate that exercise can help students relieve stress and anxiety. Strengthening and stretching throughout a student's day provides stability needed for neat handwriting.
Writing neatly takes effort, time, and practice...just like acquiring skill with playing and instrument or an athletic endeavor. One of my favorite quotes is, "Repetition is the mother of mastery." If a student writes sloppily all the time, he will become quite good at writing sloppily. Careful practice and attention to proper line placement, spacing and size proportion will help writing become fast and neat.
- Using utensils for meals, helping prepare dinner with vegetable peelers, can openers, mixers, grating vegetables can all build fine motor dexterity and hand strength.
- Outdoor heavy work and play, washing cars, yard work/gardening, monkeybars, jumproping, and swimming all excellent activities for building core strength and coordination.
- Yoga is my personal favorite of all activities.
- Crafts such as scrapbooking, paper airplanes, origami, paper dolls, woodworking, models, and painting all help advance fine motor and visual perceptual skills.
Step One: Assume a good writing posture: We frequently tell students to position themselves, "Tummy to the table." Sit well in the chair with both feet flat on the ground. Sit up straight for optimal alignment. Do shoulder rolls, strech and twist when needed. Posture must be practiced to build stamina and strength.
Step Two: Stabilize the paper with the non dominant hand. Neat writing typically does not occur when the head is propped in the hand or student is reclining on the desk surface.
Step Three: Space well within and between words. Letters should not touch. Even in cursive writing, long connectors between letters make writing easier to read. Spacing between words should be at least two letter spaces.
Step Four: Size does matter ! Many upper case letters are identical to the lower case counterpart so it is essential to get the size correct... Cc Oo Vv Ww Ss Xx Zz
Step Five: Organize work on page. Use margins and skip lines when ever possible. If it is necessary to writie on unlined paper, you can draw your own lines...
Step Six: Check your spelling, read everything twice, correct any errors.
It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.