Mid-line point for left & right- handed writers
Paper angled at between 30 - 45 degrees
Paper away from the table edge
Paper angled at between 20 - 45 degrees
Keeping the paper positioned at the correct angle is important for maintaining good handwriting throughout the piece of work. Children often move their writing hand down the page until it falls off the table, rather than moving the paper up the table and keeping the writing hand in the same position. The following activity helps to train them to move the paper while holding a good writing position.
We often talk about the most appropriate grip for handwriting being the tripod grip; but this usually only refers to finger position. It is easy to forget the importance of the actual hand position in relation to the pencil and paper for handwriting.
The ideal position is for the hand, wrist and elbow to be below the tip of the pencil and under the writing line for both left and right-handed writers.
Starting from the left hand side of the paper swing the pencil across the paper, like a windscreen wiper does on a car, keep the writing hand wrist in the same position on the table and use the non-writing hand to move the paper position up the table, keeping the same tilt, as if it is on a straight piece of train track. To help move the paper in the correct direction masking tape could be used to form the guide tracks in which the paper needs to stay.
This can be great fun as the same piece of paper can be used over and over again using different colour pencils and could be a timed activity as the child’s skills develop.
With the non-writing hand moving the paper position up the table the writing line stays in the same place which means eye movements are less, helping to making the writing experience less tiring and stressful.
The paper position and tilt on the desk, for both right and left-handed writers, can make a big difference to a child’s handwriting experience and comfort and yet it is an element which is often neglected.
By positioning and tilting the paper correctly the writing hand stays in one comfortable position on the table and the non-writing hand moves the paper diagonally up the table (while maintaining an appropriate paper tilt angle). With the non-writing hand moving the paper up the table the writing line stays in the same place which means eye movements are less, helping to make the writing experience less tiring and stressful.
If the paper is positioned and tilted correctly, with their writing hand under the writing line, they will also be able to see more easily what they have just written and where to place the next letter, word or section of text on the page. This is especially important for left-handed writers.