Poor handwriting actually had some benefits for me, at first. In elementary school, my sloppy writing kept teachers from finding all my misspelled words. My poor spelling was hidden by my lousy writing.
I left elementary school assuming (as many do) that I was stuck for life with terrible handwriting. I had no idea how soon my writing style and my learning would begin to change.
It only took a few weeks to forever change my handwriting. Those few weeks happened at the beginning of middle school when the right motivation and the right skill-development strategy came together.
Changing my handwriting changed three things right away.
- Writing no longer was painful. I stopped getting a headache and my hand stopped hurting.
- My handwriting no longer embarrassed me which made me willing to use my writing to communicate with others.
- I stopped avoiding writing and actually began to have pen-pals and keep a journal.
My better handwriting did allow teachers to find more of my spelling mistakes. It took 3 more decades before I changed my fixed mindset about spelling and discovered strategies that could help even someone like me with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia learn standard spelling.
Middle school was only the beginning. In high school, I took another step forward when I learned how to write with a chisel-tipped calligraphy pen. In college, I landed three jobs in part because my handwriting and calligraphy pen made my application stand out.
Once I started teaching, I loved helping students transform their writing. In summer camp, I taught handwriting as craft class—complete with embossing pens and holographic glitter. It was amazing to watch teens work on their handwriting for fun once they had a little inspiration.
During my in-depth study of how the brain learns, I discovered the role handwriting plays in brain development. I started sharing what I had learned at conferences for homeschooling parents and teachers. They were full of questions. A one-hour workshop was never enough time.
I’ve longed for the opportunity to truly empower those who want to change their own handwriting or who want to help children and teens change theirs. In order to meet the need—I developed an online course with help from some of the team at Learning Lifeguard.
The purpose of the course is to empower learners by helping them develop lifelong legibility with personal style.
While we give some ideas that will help anyone teaching beginners, this is not a course for young children learning to write. Nor is it designed to help anyone master any published curriculum style of writing. Our focus uses a doodle-approach to developing good form and personal style that will produce writing that is legible for a lifetime.
If you sign up for this course, you (and anyone in your household who wants to join you) will receive—
1) Online video lesson every Monday for 4 weeks.
2) Your own Handwriting Improvement Notebook with lines designed to improve handwriting.
3) Activities for you to download and practice 10-15 minutes a day.
4) Interviews with professionals who have discovered the benefit of improving their writing.
5) A community of others learning with you in a private Facebook group.
Handwriting for Brain Development is currently available for three months in 2018. You can sign up for either July, August, or September. Since July begins with a holiday, we are extending the class so you can begin on or before July 9 and finish by August 4.
I’m convinced that, with the guidance of someone who understands how to help, you can learn how to change your handwriting and improve your learning. What I would like you to do is sign up today for the month that works best for you. Then I’m asking you to dedicate 15-20 minutes a day for one month to this creative approach. You will find that you can significantly improve your handwriting which will help improve your learning and give you added clarity and confidence.
Esther Wilkison is an author, speaker, and learning coach. She serves as the primary learner at Learning Lifeguard, LLC.