Stages of handwriting

Handwriting, learning journey theSchoolRun

Left-handedness is no longer disapproved of; instruction in this field concentrates on the different techniques needed to aid the left-handed writer, especially with appropriate grip and paper position. Some individual variation in grip is now considered appropriate for both right-and left-handed writers; however, it is important for the teacher to know which grips will lead to handwriting dysfunctionality, including cramps and lack of speed. A variety of writing implements is also now considered appropriate, with the student and teacher choosing the one that feels best. Fat pencils used by early writers may lead to an inappropriate grip. Rubber or other pencil prosthetics may help students trying to overcome a bad grip. Much work has centered on the use of lined versus unlined paper; there is some suggestion that first writers work best with unlined, but there are a variety of research results supporting other opinions. A variety of pre-writing activities have been recommended, including drawing, painting, threading beads, building blocks, and play dough, aimed at encouraging better pencil hold, and helping to develop isolated finger movements, kinesthetic memory, and upper limb muscle tone.

This new idea (which is, of course, an old one) is the standard method in France and Germany. In France's carefully thought-out system, children start preparatory exercises at age three, and are surrounded by signs and texts in a nationally standardized script, all of which help the student learn handwriting report earlier and with more success (but less individuality) than American practices. Calligraphers and other historians of letterforms, including Alfred fairbank in England, paul Standard in New role York, and Lloyd reynolds in Oregon, have been advocating italic forms since the 1930s. Italic forms have the simplest transition from basic letterforms to mature cursive writing, and allow for considerable individualization. Participants in the debate over handwriting education in the twentieth century included not only calligraphers and publishers of the educational materials, but also academics, including statisticians and psychologists. The scientists developed quantitative handwriting scales to evaluate handwriting starting in 1909, but their advice that handwriting required the use of not just Palmerian arm movements, but also the coordinated movements of finger, hand, and wrist, were ignored for decades. Throughout the twentieth century, both publishers and researchers concentrated on reading rather than writing. Classroom teachers, often left with little official encouragement and training, pursued their own ways. Contemporary handwriting research has focused on issues such as type of script, the use of evaluative scales, handedness, ergonomics (grip and posture tools (writing instrument and paper and, occasionally, teaching methods, including teacher training and use of pre-writing activities. While no one writing style or approach has been shown to be "the best consistency of model through early grades does appear to be important, as long as the system is well thought-out.

stages of handwriting

Handwriting development in children learning to write

Marjorie wise, an English educator, brought manuscript writing to the United States in 1922, where it was first adopted by progressive schools, and rapidly increased in popularity to the extent that manuscript writing was included in the palmer company materials. A major advantage of the system was that children could start learning to write at a younger age, with less developed motor skills. With manuscript writing, reading and writing were taught in parallel for the first time. Also, the introduction of manuscript writing was associated with the idea that children want to learn to write to communicate, although creative writing would not be standard until the 1950s. There is still controversy over manuscript writing in the early twenty-first century; advocates say it is closer to modern type styles and so easier for the beginner to learn; critics point out the difficulty of transition from print-script to cursive, or the disadvantages of never. There is a wide variety of manuscript writing programs and styles. The early ones had the disadvantage of pairing their geometric print-scripts with contemporary cursives (Palmer in the United States and Vere foster in Britain which were quite different. Schemes were developed with more developmental logic between print and cursive, including Marion Richardson's in the United Kingdom and Donald neil Thurber's d'nealian in the United States. Some advocate starting with cursive, citing advantages for early writers good in not needing to think where to start each letter, and a clearer division between words.

stages of handwriting

Handwriting starts before school

Palmer introduced his system in the 1880s; by 1928, three-quarters of all schoolchildren in the United States were being taught by the palmer method. The simple, unshaded letterforms were built for speed, taught by drill to establish "kinesthetic memory and written with a new technique based on arm movement alone (i.e., no finger movement). Unfortunately, while the students remembered the drills all their lives, their handwriting was not particularly successful. Tamara Thornton suggests that the penmanship drill was used especially in cities as dream lessons in conformity, to assimilate immigrants into mainstream citizenry. Manuscript Writing and Other Systems, in 1913 the English calligrapher Edward Johnston gave a lecture at a teachers' conference in which he recommended that the student use a broad-nibbed pen and, starting from simple, rounded, roman letterforms, achieve a formal italic hand, which would develop. Inspired by the lecture, a group of educators developed manuscript writing (also known as ball-and-stick or print-script simplified letterforms based on circles and straight lines. This system was, however, not quite what Johnston had in mind. Until this time, it should be emphasized, children started writing a cursive script from the beginning.

These systems still relied heavily on classroom drills and timed instruction. All the eighteenth-and nineteenth-century systems were taught by copying and correction, so that each student would achieve an exact imitation of the style being taught. Teaching individual handwriting style was not an issue until the typewriter took over business writing and made handwriting newly personal. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, doctors in Europe, concerned about what would now be called the ergonomics of writing, grew disturbed with the postures and methods of penmanship. A new style, vertical Writing, unslanted and with simplified letterforms, was introduced to the United States from England and widely adopted by all the publishers of penmanship manuals, including the heirs of Spencer. The copybooks claimed that it was natural and more like print, and so it served as a foreshadowing of manuscript writing. The palmer Method was the dominant system of the twentieth century.

Hand writing expert experts analysis handwriting

stages of handwriting

Handwriting and Personality: Discover personality

By the 1870s there were graded series of books, with accompanying teacher's manuals, wall charts, and other teaching aids. Competition intensified in the nineteenth century, as city, town, or state school boards began selecting textbooks, including penmanship systems, for entire school systems. An ever-increasing emphasis on speedy handwriting for commercial needs was met by modifications to the letterforms taught and the introduction of new methods of movement. Fewer hands were being taught by the beginning of the century. By 1805 beginners started with a large-sized round hand, then moved into a running hand, similar to the round hand but faster, because every letter within words was joined. Also offered was a miniaturized version of the cursive, thought review suitable for girls. The letterforms would degenerate throughout the century in two conflicting streams: the stronger current moving toward simpler, faster, more colorless letterforms; and a contradictory cross-current created by the exploration of the decorative possibilities inherent in the use of the flexible steel pen point.

These pens, which replaced quills for general use in the 1830s, made possible the extreme thick-and-thin lines in mid-century letterforms. Spencer was the most famous exponent of these attenuated forms. Foster introduced "muscular movement derived from Joseph Carstairs in England, into the classroom in the 1830s. This technique depended on forearm movement, although finger movement was allowed after the student reached a certain level of proficiency. From this point, handwriting practice became more group-based, involving classroom drills. The famous Spencerian handwriting and the similar system of Spencer's main competitors, payson, dunton, and Scribner, returned to the more logical combined use of arm, forearm, and hand movements.

Law, accounting or by different groups of people (e.g. University students, women, gentlemen, clerks). Instruction in reading came first; for many who came to the new World, the ability to read the bible was necessary for all. The ability to write was required only of professionals, the well-born and their secretaries, and merchants and their clerks. Teaching was accomplished by the rote copying of exemplars set for each student by the writing master. As demand for training increased with the burgeoning economy, a lack of skilled masters lead to the use of printed exemplars.


Late in the eighteenth century, a backwoods American teacher named John Jenkins revolutionized the teaching of handwriting by breaking all lower case letters down into six principal pen strokes, which were learned separately and then combined into letters. This method, plagiarized and modified, was used for decades, both in the United States and in Europe. The hand was still the basic English round hand (often termed copperplate used throughout Europe for commercial purposes since the mid-seventeenth century. Jenkins's analytical system also required the student to memorize a dialogue about the principal strokes and the letters formed from them before actually writing letters with ink on paper. This memorization persisted through much of the nineteenth century; decades later, Platt Rogers Spencer would still require students to memorize an oral analysis of letters. Another of Jenkins's innovations was the inclusion in his writing manuals of detailed recommendations on teaching methods. The nineteenth Century, copy slips, with each exemplar printed on a separate piece of paper, grew into copybooks, with blank lines below the text for the student to imitate the exemplar, thus requiring a new book for each student.

A comprehensive guide to teaching children handwriting

Unfortunately, modern teachers are not usually taught how to teach handwriting. Nor do they have enough class time to work with children individually, which is the proper way to diagnose individual problems and counter them. Penmanship was, with the rising importance of for commerce in the eighteenth century, and before typewriters, an essential job skill. The teaching of handwriting was a major task of education. It is helpful to look at the changes in styles, materials, and teaching methods over time to see the evolution of the current state of handwriting in American education. The eighteenth Century, early colonists brought with them the hands and teaching methods of their native lands. A variety of hands were taught to be used in various occupations (e.g.

stages of handwriting

Despite the ubiquity of computers, handwriting is still an important means of note taking and communication. Bad handwriting, it has been shown, leads to lower grades in file school. Bad handwriting skills may cause the writer physical pain and mental distress. An inappropriate grip on the writing instrument may lead to cramps and an inability to write with speed. This inability to keep up with one's thoughts leads to frustration, which may, in turn, inhibit a child's learning to compose. Illegible handwriting is a failed attempt at communication. Qualities sought in penmanship are legibility, speed, ease, and individuality. Handwriting is a physical skill that is best learned early, and requires "a competent level of instruction in the components of the physical task." (Alston and taylor,. Extra help given to those having trouble at an early stage can often prevent failure in later years.

instruction to this day.) While penmanship studies havent completely disappeared from the American curriculum, schoolchildren today spend more time mastering typing and computer skills than the neat, standardized cursive. As early as 1955, the saturday evening Post had dubbed the United States a nation of scrawlers, and studies show that handwriting abilities have largely declined since then. Bemoaned by many (but not all) educators, the loss of penmanship as a requisite skill inspired the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (wima) to create national Handwriting day in 1977. According to the groups website, the holiday offers a chance for all of us to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting. How can you celebrate? The wima suggests you pick up a pen or pencil and put it to paper—so get off the computer and start writing! Since the advent of the typewriter, penmanship has been increasingly devalued, even ignored, in the curriculum.

Italian humanists soon revolted against the heavy gpa look by reverting to a more carolingian script and inventing a cursive form of it, known as Italic. Elegant handwriting emerged as a status symbol, and by the 1700s penmanship schools had begun educating generations of master scribes. During the United States infancy, professional penmen were responsible for copying official documents, including the declaration of Independence and the constitution. Among amateurs, meanwhile, signature handwriting styles became associated with various professions and social ranks; women and men were also expected to embrace flourishes unique to their sex. In the mid-1800s an abolitionist and bookkeeper named Platt Rogers Spencer attempted to democratize american penmanship by formulating a cursive writing system, known as the Spencerian method and taught by textbook, that many schools and businesses quickly adopted. (Ornate and sinuous, it can be seen in the original Coca-cola logo.). By the turn of the century, an approach introduced by austin Norman Palmer replaced the Spencerian method in American classrooms, where students learned to form loopy characters between horizontal lines on chalkboards; its predecessor, dnealian script, originated in the 1970s and was designed to ease. Another handwriting style, developed by Charles Zaner and Elmer Bloser for elementary-aged children, dominated textbooks for much of the 20th century.

Handwriting in Schools manuscript

Borrowing aspects of the Etruscan alphabet, the ancient Romans were among the first to develop a written script for shakespeare transactions and correspondence. By the fifth century. It included early versions of lowercase letters and sometimes flowed like modern cursive. After the roman Empire fell, penmanship became a specialized discipline that primarily blossomed in monastic settings, specifically the medieval scriptoria that churned out Christian and classical texts across Europe. Styles varied widely by region, however, so in the late eighth century Charlemagne tasked an English monk with standardizing the craft. Influenced by roman characters, carolingian miniscule was designed for maximum legibility and featured lowercase letters, word separation and punctuation. As the price of parchment and demand for books soared in the later Middle Ages, a denser style of writing evolved for European languages. Johannes Gutenberg used this Gothic approach for his printing press in the mid-15th century.


stages of handwriting
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  4. Bad handwriting, it has been shown, leads to lower grades in school. Late in the eighteenth century, a backwoods American teacher named John Jenkins revolutionized the teaching of handwriting. We commemorate the holiday below with a look at how handwriting has evolved—and, some would say, declined—over the centuries.

  5. Home cool Tech now computers can clone your handwriting with Provided we can find the necessary handwriting samples at a high enough resolution, we can recreate the handwriting of historical figures, haines said. Many schools see handwriting as surplus to requirements when there are perfectly good keyboard-enabled computers. My understanding is that the north Carolina state legislature recently mandated handwriting instruction, and other states may follow suit.

  6. Handwriting is writing done by hand with a pen, pencil, digital stylus, or other instrument. Decorative handwriting (as well as the art of producing decorative handwriting ) is called calligraphy. Handwriting analysis is the process of analyzing handwriting to learn more about the writer s personality or to determine whether. Handwriting examiners may be called upon as expert witnesses to testify in court.

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