We live in a world where technology is evolving and changing on an almost daily basis. Adults depend on technology at work, socially and home; and this has a direct impact on children.
A UK study conducted by Ofcom in 2019 found that between the age of 9 and 10, smartphone ownership doubles, and smartphones are now more widely used than radios. In 2019, 6 in 10 3-4 year-olds used any device to go online, with the use of tablets increasing by 49% from 2015.*
A national survey of the US conducted by the Erikson Institute also found that technology use by young children under age 6 was found to be almost universal. The survey found that 85% of parents allow their young children to use technology, with television, tablets, smartphones and computers being the most popular items.**
So, in a world of keyboards and touch screens, where does this leave handwriting?
Handwriting and the National Curriculum
Handwriting is a key skill that will always be essential, despite the rapidly increasing use of technology. Aside from handwriting enabling adults and children alike to express themselves, the 2014 National Curriculum requires pupils to be able to produce ‘fluent, legible, and eventually, speedy handwriting’.
Children will start their educational careers using a pencil, then around the age of 9 they will progress to using ink. Teachers often like to mark this educational milestone by giving the pupil a ‘Pen Licence’.
There are many skills that pupils need to demonstrate to earn their Pen Licence, including:
- Using the correct pencil grip
- Forming letters the same size with the correct shape
- Joining letters correctly
- Starting each letter in the correct place
- Writing on the line (an obvious, but very important one!)
How to Enable All Pupils to ‘Write it Right!’
Emmert Wolf once wrote that “a man is only as good as his tools” and that stands true today; handwriting is no exception. Equipping your pupils with the correct pen will enable them to achieve their writing goals. We recommend:
A Triangular Grip
Often, pupils’ handwriting will be illegible as they can struggle to hold the pen correctly.
Using a pen with a triangular grip encourages the correct writing posture; grip the pen between the thumb and index finger, with it resting on the middle finger in a stable position. The ring and little fingers can then bend and rest comfortably on the table whilst writing.
Use Quick Drying Ink
Left-handed users especially find it harder to find the correct writing position as their hand will naturally drag against the paper, instead of pulling across. Using the correct writing posture and rapid drying ink will avoid smudges and allow them to see their work as they are writing.
It’s important to remember safety when children are practicing their handwriting, and Swäsh KOMFIGRIP handwriting pens are packed full of safety features that are ideal for the classroom. Universal, clear ventilated lids, bonded end caps and virtually indestructible barrels with no small pieces to lose or swallow, make these pens ideal for use by all ages.