Home > School and Learning > By Subject > Reading and Language Arts > Writing > Factors Affecting Handwriting
|

Factors Affecting Handwriting

improvewrite.gif

There are many factors that affect handwriting.

Environment: Environment can affect children in a number of ways. Lack of opportunity to play and experiment with graphic materials will have developmental consequences. Pressure from parents and teachers to perform can cause undue tension. Other factors include inadequate light and poor position of the lighting, the type of writing surfaces (too many things on the desk), and the position of the writer to other people (too close together).

Motor: Fine-motor control is an essential foundation for writing skills. Without it the accuracy necessary to guide the pencil through the required formations will be severely affected. Motor planning is required so that the child can accurately reproduce the required shapes.

Vision: Difficulties with vision will affect the child's hand-eye coordination which is required for aspects of spatial and motor control. Poor vision is often the cause of many learning difficulties, so adults should be sensitive to emerging patterns.

Perception/Spatial: Handwriting has many spatial requirements such as direction, size, shape, slope, and positioning. Spatial problems can make it very difficult for children to create a legible print. Visual discrimination is required to distinguish between similar and mirror letters. Auditory discrimination is necessary to associate verbal information with graphic forms.

Attitude: A poor attitude and an inability to care or take responsibility for one's own actions is arguably the main reason for children's poor handwriting. Children must be trained to take responsibility--and parents and teachers must expect it. Self helplessness is a behavior some children develop in handwriting and in other areas if they are not encouraged to become responsible for themselves. Boys seem to be the main culprits.

Visual-Motor Integration: This refers to the child's ability to accurately reproduce shapes. It is the process that links what the eye sees to what the hand produces. Without adequate development in this area, the child is going to have difficulty reproducing the complexities of letter formations and their spatial requirements.

Attention/Memory: Without attention to a task, a child will remember little, if anything, and any attempts to learn are futile. It is known that young children respond best to new and colorful stimuli. Because of their short attention span, it is important that our attempts to teach children handwriting are interesting and sessions are shorter.

Emotion: Our emotional state can affect our handwriting dramatically. For example, if a child feels uptight and under pressure, it is reflected in his or her handwriting. We cannot expect children to be robots and produce the same quality of written work every day. As their emotional state fluctuates, so may their handwriting.


Excepted from Ready-to-Use Fine Motor Skills & Handwriting Activities for Young Children / Joanne M. Landy and Keith R. Burridge / The Center for Applied Research and Education / 1999

|


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

jack-o'-lantern creator

Design and print
your own
jack-o’-
lanterns!

GO

highlights

Top 10 Group Halloween Costumes for Families
These store-bought and Pinterest-inspired Halloween costume ideas for groups are the perfect way to show off your creative side at your Halloween party or while trick-or-treating.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

12 Spine-Tingling Halloween Movies for Teens
Are you looking for a movie with just a little bit of spook-factor for your teen? Check out these 12 spine-tingling Halloween movies!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!