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Carol Bainbridge

Poor Hand Writing

By October 5, 2006

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Calling the handwriting of some gifted children "chicken scratches" is an insult to chickens everywhere. Seriously, their handwriting can be nearly undecipherable and can cause numerous problems in school. For example, some teachers will say that five-year-old Johnny is not ready to move into first grade because he can't write his name legibly However, it's not unusual for five-year-old children to have poor handwriting. To write well, a child must have fairly well-developed fine motor skills.

While it is possible to help children improve their fine motor skills, that's not always the problem. Quite often gifted children simply think faster than they can write. When they try to write fast enough to keep up with their brains, their handwriting suffers. So what do you do? The best solution is to help your child learn keyboarding. Kids can learn to type fast enough to keep up with their thoughts and what they write will be legible. Understanding teachers will often allow young gifted children to do their work on a computer.

You may worry that little Johnny or Susie will never learn to write neatly if they always write using a computer. That may be true, but chances are their minds will never slow down enough to do the kind of writing practice that leads to neat handwriting.
February 26, 2007 at 1:27 am
(1) shirley says:

Absolutely true. If only computers had been around when I was a child! My teachers always described my writing as ‘chicken scratches’ and one teacher described my handwriting in an educational journal, as ‘a spider crawling across the page’. My hand could never keep up with my thoughts and I loved to write. Fortunately for me, I was encouraged to write and this is what I do for a living – thanks to computers and the typed word. My hand writing is still a spider crawl

October 16, 2007 at 9:50 am
(2) nancy says:

So, so true. My 13 yo son “panics if he has to write anything, but let him use a computer, he’ll write 7000-8000 word short stories with surprize endings, and will do ANY school work, if he does not have to put pen to paper!

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