Nan Jay Barchowsky has worked for many years to help people of all ages to gain legible, rapid handwriting. Nan has conducted workshops for adults throughout the United States and in Mexico. She tutors, teaches in elementary classrooms, and is a consultant for schools. Nan publishes handwriting materials for beginners, older students and adults. Unique among the publications is a CD-ROM that allows you to print out practice sheets, and to edit them so one practices with text that relates to the individual. That makes practice entertaining!
How to Fix Common Handwriting Problems
Handwriting instructor Nan Jay Barchowsky demonstrates how to fix common handwriting problems.
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Nan J. Barchowsky: Hi, I am Nan J. Barchowsky, a handwriting specialist here to help you with your handwriting. We are going to talk about some of the common problems and fixes. How to fix, okay. As I have said before these patterns are very, very helpful to correcting any problems that you are having with your handwriting. If you are writing a conventional cursive such as this, it works just fine with short words. However, when you get a long word you are struggling to stay on your line. You are struggling so hard that you actually have misspelled the word and your letter forms are not only they are going off the line, they are becoming distorted.
There is a problem with the letter e. If you think about it we write e more than we write any other letter of the alphabets and so often it can look like this because it doesnt have enough of what I call a counter. The counter is the inside part there that the writing line goes around. So you have to have enough of a counter whether you write your e that way or that way.
Another letter that is very commonly misread is this conventional cursive r because it winds up looking like that. It looks like it's either an un-dotted i or maybe an e that was mis-formed. I dont know. Here we have a problem of not having a correct direction and I hope you can see that if you are using this pattern you are constantly sending it down and down and down and down. You are training yourself not to go up but to come down. Here for a p the line has gone up and around in the wrong direction over to an o which is moving clockwise instead the counter clockwise. It doesnt join well and again it goes around in the wrong direction and the word is poor and it could look a whole lot worse. You might not be able to recognize it as 'poor'.
Capitals when they are sprinkled through here are not so good. It just really looks like you didnt know how to write. You have got an r and a k and an l, another l here stuck in with lower case letters. Frequently, it is not as clear as this. Frequently it really doesnt work very well. Other examples of things that can go wrong here is excessive slant which compresses the letters. If you had your paper slanted way over like this you are going to get compressed writing.
If you have this problem where letters they are all going in different slants as I keep emphasizing this pattern we will get your slant back on track. It also will cure mangled spacing where these letters are too close. But this is a problem where if you were to write 'mang' and lift it here a little bit and then written your l, you probably would have had better spacing. The same is true here.
In this case, either you have to shorten your descender so they dont come down into the next line or you have to use wider lined paper. In other words, you probably would want something lined a little wider than this, if you are going to use lined paper. This is a problem I think is caused by the way you hold your pencil. I am not absolutely sure but this word is 'cunning' but its very hard to read because the ns are all running into each other. If you had written 'cun' lifted your pencil and written another 'n' and it isnt really a lift its more of a drift to the next letter.
This word is 'running', same problem. This word is 'unwilling' with the same problem where we use the Ns, the Ws all look like the same letter or they just look like scribble. Now, I would like to talk about making your handwriting personally yours.