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 Post subject: Pen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 1492
DS is in yr 10 and his handwriting is horrible. Nobody can read his handwriting. Teachers can't read most of his writing nor can I. He blames it on the pens he uses. What steps should I take for this to improve at this age. I did give him a handwriting book when he was small but he did not use it. All his subjects are going to be affected because of this except Maths. I'm afraid he is going to fail his GCSEs because of this, it is that bad. Please could you recommend some good handwriting pens and any suggestions to improve handwriting at this stage.

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Last edited by ahap on Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:47 pm
Posts: 2593
I would recommend the stabilo handwriting rollerball pens.They come in right handed and left handed versions with refills.My dd has poor handwriting and the pens were one of the suggestions made by her new school in order to improve her handwiting and presentation.The pens are an odd shape but they do help.We also bought a pencil in the same model.

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 Post subject: Re: Pen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:47 pm
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Thank you Quasimodo.

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 Post subject: Re: Pen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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If you can provide evidence that DS has been given help and tried everything to improve then you could make an argument for getting help in exams - maybe a scribe or using a keyboard?

Does it get any better if he slows down? In which case he might get extra time, although this is very difficult these days.

He is probably holding the pen badly so needs to start from basics.
Many children not only have a poor grip but sit in a stressed way so need to practice loosening of shoulders as well. If there isn't a specialist at school then try googling for exercises.
A writing slope may also help. It's tricky when they don't want to be different but you could try it at home to begin with.
Cursive writing can sometimes help because of the flowing style.

If all else fails he will have to be a GP :)


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 Post subject: Re: Pen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
Posts: 630
Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
Be careful about providing or allowing excuses. This may sound mean but is intended in a constructive way - It is ultimately your DC's responsibility and he is old enough to know what pens work better and what don't. A culture of blaming poor performance or skills on something else doesn't bode well. I've seen different DCs of friends approach a diagnosis of dyslexia in two polar opposite ways. One gave up and said they couldn't do academic work because of the dyslexia, another used it as a spur to try that much harder. I appreciate those examples are a world away from a pen but are so similar when it comes to attitude to school work. Get your DC to take ownership of the problem - go to a stationery shop and try out pens and work out which works best then it is up to him to practice - along with support from you. Remind him he gave up when he was small but he has a second chance and it is now mostly down to his determination.


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 Post subject: Re: Pen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
Posts: 297
Location: S E London
It might be helpful to choose a pen which grips the page better, rather than one which slides easily. So a fountain pen or a fibre tip pen is often better than a biro or some rollerball pens. DS has always had poor handwriting, often because his brain goes faster than his hand, and he finds a fountain pen is the best option, and went on to do fine at GCSE and AS levels. He worked this out for himself, though, so giving him a selection of pens to try to himself will be more useful than presenting a pen to him.


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 Post subject: Re: Pen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:33 pm 
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Posts: 6257
+2 for fountain pen users. One left hander and one right hander and the writing of both improves dramatically when using a fountain pen - but there again so does mine.

Just a note though if you do have a left hander don't let the shop convince you that a universal nib is fine, it's most definitely not in our experience, a left handed nib makes a big difference. Lamy do a reasonably priced one.


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 Post subject: Re: Pen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:38 pm 
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+3 for fountain pen.


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 Post subject: Re: Pen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
DD has a lamy fountain pen and it does seem to improve her writing. She has never held a pen properly and despite me trying to work on that at home, it was never really picked up on school enough to make any difference. (The teacher would get her to hold it properly then DD would go back to holding it badly.)

Try a range of pen styles o see which work best. Chunky, thin, ones with dimples for th fingers, triangular shaped ones etc. Fountain, rollerball etc too.


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 Post subject: Re: Pen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:05 pm
Posts: 165
DS is now Y11 and reluctantly we have just given in with regards to his atrocious hand writing and now he uses a school laptop / notebook.

His writing has always been terrible but in y10, with the added timed pressures of tests it became illegible. All his teachers complained they were unable to decipher half of it.
So ultimately it made sense for him to be assessed. He now uses the computer in almost all his lessons and pre books a different one for exams / tests.

I have to say he is much happier and his typing is faster than mine ! But we were against it at first primarily as we still think handwriting is a very important skill. Also he doesn't always have time to punctuate / check spellings etc and I think it's easier to make mistakes typing.

So it's not a perfect solution but I honestly believe it will make a difference to his GCSE grades because the examiners will at least be able to read what he types.

I think most schools have the facility to assess handwriting and provide laptops if needed so it may be worth looking into.


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