To Nurture, To Engage, To Challenge – enjoy the journey as much as the journey’s end!
As an occupational therapist and teacher, I evaluate the underlying components that support a student’s handwriting, such as muscle strength, endurance, coordination and motor control. I correct children’s awkward pencil grip, improving on their muscle and finger skills. Pencil grippers are not the best solution. If awkward pencil hold is left unaddressed, poor pencil grip problems can end up affecting a child’s academic performance at school.
When children can see they’re not keeping up, it can lead to anxiety, frustration and low self-esteem, which can see them fall further behind. Pencil grippers are good but I think using one is like taking an aspirin – it alleviates the symptoms while you are using it, but it does not fix the underlying problem. With a good foundation to build upon, developing the correct pencil grasp is much easier.
Besides writing, I have a great passion for penmanship. Skilled, fluid handwriting is an asset to learning! Struggling with handwriting takes valuable brain energy away from any writing task; being able to write effortlessly enables the mind to mentally engage with the information, ultimately improving both literacy and reading comprehension.
There is a scientific reason behind this. Handwriting involves rich sensory-motor experiences that engage different brain circuits; the contact, direction and pressure of the pen or pencil send a message and stimulate the brain involving more senses and motor neurons than when typing on a keyboard. Once good handwriting skill is mastered, it makes all the difference.