How can today's youth start to learn handwriting?
Being that Aidan is nearly finished with his senior year of college, we asked if he would share his recommendations on how today's middle and high school students could learn handwriting, especially since it isn't taught in schools. As most of today's youth is connected on social media, he suggested using it as a tool for learning. Aidan said, "half of my handwriting acumen and specific style has come from just looking at what other people post on Instagram or YouTube."
Unlike previous generations, today's children have unprecedented access to information, including valuable resources like IAMPETH (the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting). Practice sheets and exemplars of handwriting styles are readily available to download and copy with a simple click.
Just like Aidan, today's younger generations can use handwriting to help take notes, break down complex subjects, and brainstorm ideas to perform better in school.
How to write quickly while maintaining clarity
One of the key problems in handwriting identified by the online pen community is being able to maintain clear and consistent handwriting while writing quickly. For many, it seems, the increased speed causes a breakdown in quality. Aidan says the key is building muscle memory through practice. Start slow at first, then build speed over time. The process is similar to learning how to play a rock guitar solo. Everyone starts off slow, eventually building up speed to shred like Eddie Van Halen.
A quick hack to improve your handwriting today
If you feel self-conscious about your handwriting and would like to make significant steps to make it look neater, Aidan says to focus on two things: slant and s p a c i n g.
You could use a notebook with grid or French ruled paper to help keep the angle of your ascenders and descenders consistent. The angle itself doesn't matter as much as the consistency. So, you could have all of your ascending letters (b, l, and t, for example) completely vertical (perpendicular to the baseline). Or, you could have them at a slant (a 70 degree angle to the baseline). Just as long as the angle of those letters are the same throughout your writing.
The same principle applies when it comes to spacing. You can have your letters spaced the with of a lowercase "n" or you could have them closer or farther apart. As long as the spacing is consistent, your handwriting will look clearer, and more appealing.
To help with consistency, Aidan suggests to be mindful of how you position your shoulder, arm, and wrist while writing. As you write across the page, be sure to move your arm and wrist to keep a steady angle.