Setting Up Your Handwriting Practice Area

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 278,708
    Handwriting instructor Nan Jay Barchowsky demonstrates how to set up a handwriting practice area.

    Nan J. Barchowsky: Hi, I am Nan J. Barchowsky, handwriting specialist. I am here to help you with your writing. Sometimes you have to write when you are standing up and you are taking notes and sometimes you may even be holding a piece of paper, just one piece of paper up against the wall and trying to write something down with that as a support. However you dont want your setup for practice to be like that. You want to be able to practice in the optimum position possible. You want to have a -- well I happened to be sitting on a work table which is high. So my chair is high and I am comfortable, Ive got my feet placed on the railing of the chair and I am sitting up fairly straight and I can easily see what I am doing here when I am writing and you should not cross your legs because if you cross your legs you are going to lean over like this and it's going to mess up not only your letter slant but it also will mess up all of your writing or if you cross this way, it will be the same thing. But you can cross your feet like so, because as you see my body is still straight. Your body must be relaxed, absolutely must be relaxed. I am right-handed, so therefore my paper is positioned over to the right so that I am pulling down strokes, down strokes being very important to my mid line. If I were left-handed, I would have the paper over here and I would be pulling down strokes toward my elbow. You will notice that my hands are pretty much free. Ive got my non dominant hand here to move the paper around. So if I am writing down on this very bottom line, I dont want to be squinshed like this. I want to be able to push my paper up with my non dominant hand and feel free to write on that bottom line. Never have the paper straight in front of you. I think its a convenience of teachers to put students paper and write in front of them. Its not so bad for a right-hander but it really hurts left-handers and after all at least 10% of the population is left-handed.

    If the paper is straight up, the left-hander is going to hook his hand like this, hook his wrist and eventually that's going to hurt, but this is the only way that the left-hander can see which line he or she is writing on. They also have the option of sticking their elbow into their side and writing like this and that's not very comfortable either. It is important to be comfortable because its important to be relaxed. Of course when you are just starting out with fixing or repairing your handwriting, you are not going to be really relaxed because you are going to be focusing on getting various letters just right. But eventually and not too much time you will find that your handwriting becomes automatic.

    Okay we have now covered your position, your setup. One thing I neglected to mention was that you might possibly want to use an easel. In the following clips, I will be sitting at an easel. It offers the best eye hand coordination and now we are going to move along and we are going to talk about how you can best practice in order to improve your handwriting.