With the lockdown having shed a light on the true extent of the issues children have been experiencing with handwriting, through parent power, we are seeing parents taking charge and seeking support and answers from teachers.
Throughout the pandemic and the numerous lockdowns, we saw parents transform into real life superheroes, taking on the role of ‘teacher’, helping to support their child’s learning from home.
I myself had the pleasure of working alongside many parents virtually throughout the pandemic sharing my handwriting advice and tips, enabling them to support their children learning to write.
Of course it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for parents, but it was great seeing them find their rhythm and get really hands-on with their child’s day-to-day learning.
One thing that we have found when speaking to parents since they’ve had the opportunity to work more closely alongside their child, is that they have seen the true extent of the issues their child has been experiencing with their handwriting.
From writing that is so poor that their child cannot even write their own name legibly, through to a poor sitting position and poor pencil grip that makes writing painful. These are all common issues that parents have been picking up on.
Now that parents have the full picture about their child’s handwriting, we are seeing many approaching the school to discuss the issues with teachers to see if they can get a plan in place, to help ensure their child is being effectively supported.
‘Parent Power’ cannot be ignored – schools and teachers need to be prepared to take action to meet these requests.
Teaching Handwriting Correctly
Correct letter formation, pen grip and sitting position, alongside the development of fine and gross motor skills, are the basics of teaching handwriting. These skills form the foundations of beautiful, legible, and speedy handwriting.
If the foundations are not strong enough everything else will crumble.
So if this is the case, why have so many parents been witnessing their children struggling with these basics?
Unfortunately, many teachers simply do not possess the knowledge or skills to provide correct and effective support, due to the fact that handwriting is not taught in the Initial Teaching Training (ITT).
And if teachers are not being taught how to correctly teach handwriting in their initial training, when do they learn how to teach handwriting?
This is why it is essential that teachers are being taught themselves on how to teach handwriting correctly and I have been working to achieve this.
I offer teacher training to help teachers feel confident teaching handwriting and ensure that they have all the knowledge and skills they need to support their students’ in mastering beautiful, legible handwriting.
But alongside this, I have also been campaigning for changes to the ITT and have even met with the Department for Education, along with Mark Stewart from Left n Write, to discuss how the provision for handwriting in the ITT is not fit for purpose and share my thoughts on the changes that need to be made.
With the appointment of the new Minister for Schools, Robin Walker, who is my local MP, I am looking forward to a ‘new broom’ sweeping through the Department for Education (DfE).
The new Minister could indeed make this a pivotal moment for the way handwriting is taught to every child.
I hope to see major reforms take place over the coming months and years, to ensure moving forward that all teachers will possess the knowledge and skills to teach handwriting correctly, and that all children moving forward will be able to master legible handwriting.
Of course, I understand the immense pressures that schools and teachers have been and continue to be under, but it should be every child’s right to be able to master literacy skills, including the ability to write legibly by hand.
If you are a schoolteacher reading this and you would like support around the teaching of handwriting, I would be more than happy to have a discussion with you.
Equally, if you are a parent reading this and you are unsure about what to do next, keep reading.
How you can help your child?
With the pressures on teachers mounting, if you are a parent who has identified issues with your child’s handwriting over the course of the pandemic and home learning, there are other options.
I have previously shared a blog that discusses how to teach handwriting correctly, where I shared some detailed information and helpful tips.
Alongside this, I also offer a range of handwriting workbooks which are the ideal resource you can use at home with your child to quickly improve and transform their handwriting.
My books have been described as ‘easy to follow’ and ‘the most useful guide to improving handwriting’ by some of my customers.
I am also able to provide one-to-one support through my virtual handwriting lessons, where I can work with your child directly to improve their handwriting technique, correct any issues they are experiencing and build their writing confidence.
If you would like to find out more about how I can help you take control of your child’s handwriting and support them, don’t hesitate to drop me an email or contact me via the phone.