Last week was National Stationery Week and the emphasis was on partnering up with schools to promote the importance of handwriting.
Handwriting has sadly become somewhat of a dying art as we now use our computers, tablets and phones to communicate instantaneously with the rest of the world. However, handwriting, particularly in schools, still has its benefits; it is important to be able to accurately assess one another’s work and enables students to revisit their own ideas and to assess their thoughts and progress.
There are all sorts of creative ways in which you can help keep the art of penmanship alive. Here are some ideas you can try with young people and why they are important to their all-round continuing development:
Explore, explore and explore some more!
Very early on when we start learning to write, it can be off putting when we get it wrong. However, practicing handwriting is all about exploration, making mistakes and developing a skill. This is a process that we will need to harness for the rest of our lives in a variety of different situations and ultimately, we need to encourage young people that if they persevere they will eventually succeed. This positive reinforcement will help develop a sense of self-worth and confidence when tackling new tasks. Give some of these ideas a try to get going:
Check out the BBC Bitesize website for more ideas to get you started.
Have you got your pen licence?
Once your child or student is confident using a pencil and has got to grips with the basics, they can get their ‘pen licence’. This means they have earnt the right to use a pen from now on! There is a great sense of excitement and achievement when children get their licence and starting writing with a pen. How about making them a certificate and presenting them with a lovely new pen to celebrate?
When children are starting to feel really confident with their handwriting, a great way to encourage them to keep going (and to use their new pen) is to introduce letter writing skills. A great activity is helping them compose a letter to a famous person whom they admire; not only will they start developing their letter writing skills, but they will also see that all their hard work is paying off and has a real outcome. With any luck their chosen person will write back to them!
Will you be my pen pal?
Hopefully your children and/or students will have caught the letter writing bug and will be keen to continue developing their skills. Several schools are now partnering up with local care homes to create pen pal clubs. Students write to the residents on a weekly basis to update them on all their news and find out more about their pen pal’s life. Why not see if your child’s school would be interested in starting a pen pal club? Or if you have family who live abroad, you could start a snail mail correspondence?
We hope that you find some of these ideas useful and that they encourage your child to put pen (or pencil!) to paper.