FAQs - How To Improve Handwriting 06 Feb 2020

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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

The Magic Link handwriting program is designed for all 6 to 18 + olds. It has been created for everyone who wants to learn to learn clear, fluent, joined-up cursive handwriting. This program includes capital letters, punctuation and number formation. No prior knowledge of joined-up writing is needed.

Perfect for all children who have bad or messy handwriting and struggle to write clearly. Includes children with dyslexia, hypermobility, dysgraphia, ADHD, children who have Asperger’s syndrome and SEN children. It is also excellent for high achieving pupils who simply have messy handwriting and wish to learn a simple technique.

The full 30-step program can take around 4 to 6 weeks to complete or can be completed quickly in one or two weeks by older children if followed intensively.

If schools are using the program the minimum recommended time is at least 40 mins twice a week. The more often the lessons, the quicker it can be completed. This may take longer if used with a large group or in a classroom . It can be faster when used with smaller groups, individuals or older pupils.

It is advisable to follow two steps at least twice (or three times) a week. Allow a day or two in between to practise the words and ‘silly sentences’. Always copy these out onto wide-ruled lined paper A4 size as the transfer of good handwriting onto standard, lined paper is crucial to success.

The NON joined (print) program for 5-year-olds, may take longer to complete as the children are younger and may need more time to consolidate letters, words and sentences. Click here for details.

This handwriting program uses the ‘Magic Link’ letter font, which was created and patented by Lee Dein. There are minimal curls and loops with absolutely no introductory (or lead-in) strokes, which often confuse the child and slow down speed.

Children are able to grasp these letter formations much more easily than other handwriting programs, which have unnecessary, complicated flicks, curves and swirls.

This handwriting program uses the ‘Magic Link’ letter front, which introduces a completely fresh handwriting font. It was created by Lee Dein, especially for this programme. There are minimal curls and loops with absolutely no introductory (or lead-in) strokes, which often confuse the child and slow down the speed. Children are able to grasp this formation much more easily than other handwriting programs, which have unnecessary flicks, curves and swirls.

The CURSIVE (joined-up) course is recommended age 6 to 18-year olds. It can be used for primary and secondary school children as well as adults.

The NON-joined-up is suitable for 5 year-olds. This can be purchased on www.magiclinkhandwriting.com website.

Try to do around 30 minutes once or twice or three times a week. The faster the programme is followed, the quicker the course can be completed but it is important not to rush.

At least  5 to 10 minutes homework should be practised a day. Homework involves copying out the ‘silly sentences’ onto standard lined, A4 paper to encourage the transfer of skills away from the exercise sheets and onto other paper.

It is advisable to have at least one or two days in between to practise these words and sentences. Once the homework is written neatly, continue to the next step.

Transfer of neat, cursive writing into schoolwork happens towards the end i.e step 30. It is vital to keep practising the words or sentences so that the motor movement becomes faster and more natural. It is important to be patient as transfer does not happen immediately!

Throughout each step, the pupil will be able to see how the letters and words should look like. Adults or teachers should supervise and ensure that pupils are writing the letters and words exactly as instructed.

Step 30 includes consolidation exercises which encourage transfer into school work.

Absolutely! This programme is perfect for the home-schooled child. It does not require any training classes. Simply write in the workbooks or the printable worksheets and follow the instructions on the video.

Yes, this program is made for any child who wants to have fun and learn to write by following a simple, systematic, logical method. Parents and teachers of children with special needs have been amazed seeing such remarkable results; often spelling begins to suddenly improve for the first time!

The Magic Link handwriting program particularly appeals to children who suffer from Asperger’s syndrome or who are diagnosed with high-functioning autism. These children respond particularly well to the logic and repetition in the steps and have achieved fantastic results. They have become more and more self-motivated as their handwriting continues to improve throughout each step of the program.

Many hundreds of children who have been diagnosed as being Hypermobile or having Dyspraxia or Dysgraphia and have achieved neat and legible handwriting after following the Magic Link handwriting program.  This program teaches children how to hold a pencil or pen in a comfortable way and how to combine letters together using a logical, structured and easy-to-follow method.

There are many reasons for a weak grip on a pencil or pen. An occupational therapist or physiotherapist may provide exercises for gross and fine motor skills and improving muscle strength.  Most children find following the 30 video steps extremely motivating as the process of handwriting is broken down into small steps, to make the learning process as easy as possible.

The #1 goal is for pupils to feel confident and motivated. Children may require assistance multiple times before they get “the hang of it”.  Teach at their pace, and make it enjoyable! Remember that children must practice what they have learned for homework and adults should correct any errors.

The 30- step cursive program ( for 6-18 years ) has been compiled to work through each vowel and vowel combination using a highly-structured method. Before writing can begin, the technique of how to hold a pencil or pencil is explained. (step one.) Each vowel worksheet is colour coded. Music and ‘top tips’ are included to ensure that learning to write can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Capital letters, punctuation and numbers are also taught. After every step, there is a colourful, cartoon animation to motivate younger children and to provide fun and humour. A ‘Certificate of Achievement’ is provided as a reward at the end of the program.

The 15- step non-joined-up programme teaches letter height, spacing and formation vowel by vowel. Capital letters and numbers are also taught. Music and top tips are shown and are for younger children aged 5-6 years old. To purchase, see www.magiclinkhandwriting.com

It is very important that the instructions are followed carefully and precisely. In order to help a pupil learn without frustration, parents, teachers, and therapists should treat this handwriting programme as a learning tool and move at the child’s pace. Copying out the ‘silly sentences’ should be encouraged for homework so that each step can be reinforced and consolidated.

Try to follow the program for 30-40 minutes at least twice or even three times a week. The more frequent the lessons, the faster the course can be completed. Do not try to rush through this program. It is advisable to have at least one or two days in between to practise the words and sentences. It is important to practise the words or silly sentences twice a day before continuing on to the next step.

Definitely! Some children do not enjoy writing because of early failures and lack of confidence, while other children struggle to retain the many skills and concepts needed to have neat, fluent handwriting. Following the 30 clear video steps on the computer is a great way for children and adults to build skills. They can progress at their own rate and if they struggle, lessons can be repeated as many times as they want. The program has been successful with pupils with learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorder, students who are hypermobile and many other people struggling with their handwriting. For children with handwriting difficulties, repetition is one of the keys to success and the Magic Link program has ‘silly sentences’ to copy and repeat at the end of each step.

Throughout each step, the pupil must copy the worksheets to see how his or handwriting should look like. it is important for an adult or teacher to supervise a child or a group of children as they go through each of the steps to ensure that they are writing the letters and words as instructed. Once the ‘silly sentences’ are written correctly the pupil can continue to the next step. Transfer of neat, cursive writing is not expected until the end of the program i.e step 30, so please be patient! It is vital to keep practising the words or sentences so that the motor movement becomes faster and more natural.

The program is a sequential series of 30 steps that start at a complete beginner’s level. It develops essential writing skills in a progression that will take an illegible, messy writer through to neat, flowing, joined-up, cursive handwriting. The final step consolidates what has been learnt and makes suggestions to develop writing skills.

Yes, the Magic Link handwriting program comes with color-coded worksheets which must be printed out for every step. The worksheets match the video lessons and the pupil simply watches the video tutorials and copies the handwriting method.

Research shows that the act of writing is an excellent way to reinforce reading and phonic skills. The pupil must print out the worksheets and practise the words and sentences as many times as required.

Copying out these sentences again onto standard A4 lined paper is an essential and excellent way of encouraging the transfer of good handwriting.

Transfer of Magic Link handwriting into school work is not expected until the end of the program. On the last step, step 30, there are consolidation exercises which encourage the transfer of Magic Link cursive writing into everyday work. In this final step, pupils are provided with free writing exercises aimed to reinforce, consolidate and transfer their neat, cursive handwriting.

Step 30 introduces literacy skills for primary and secondary pupils to transfer neat handwriting into all aspects of schoolwork. The mechanics of writing should now be automatic and allow the pupil to focus on content, rather than on the physical act of writing.

It is often common for children not to listen to their own parents. (I have also experienced the same!) Always try to avoid battles and keep calm. Maybe try to allocate a different adult, a respected teenager, a nanny, friend, neighbour or an older sibling. Even if this is only for a short while, to give a different dynamic. It may also help to occasionally ‘swap’ with another parent so you can teach each other’s children if this is a practical option. Another strategy you could try is to make sure your child writes the word correctly and then you leave the room whilst they are repeating the line. Always praise efforts!

This depends on the dynamic between parent (or adult) and the child. Try to avoid battles and keep calm. It can be motivating to show your child what the end result will look like and to discuss the benefits of having good handwriting. Candy, healthy treats or other age-related incentives often help. A reward for finishing the program may also motivate.  The cartoon animation at the end of each step as a reward and use the cartoon story as a motivator to continue with the next step. What does not help is to shout, fight and argue.

In order for the camera to focus in on the video demonstrations, Lee had to write at an awkward angle, which made her fingers touch. However, you must not copy this and you should always try to keep a small gap between your two fingers, as explained in step one ‘Getting Ready to Write’ and as demonstrated throughout the programme. To see the video showing the “7 Points to Remember Before you Write” see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr3S8tgFg38

Many left-handers have reported great success. Letter formations are made the same way regardless of which hand is used. As with all our users, we encourage parents and teachers to help guide the child to follow the program correctly. Left-handers should try to keep their wrist under the line and slant the page to the right to maintain a good, clear vision of words and sentences.

The 2 main factors to consider is that the pupil continues to write on 8mm wide lined paper as the use of plain paper or other paper can be confusing. A triangular pen/pencil is also recommended and it is vital that a good tripod grip is maintained from the start. If using a Faber Castell pencil, it is always useful to remind the pupil that there should be  ‘4 dots’ under both fingers of the pencil hand.  (See the home page video for the correct grip)

After each step, it is vitally important to copy out the ‘silly sentences’ for homework. There is extra paper at the back of the program should they need it. Otherwise, re-write these sentences onto standard,  lined A4, good quality paper, which has a margin. These silly sentences make writing fun, improve motivation and reinforce the words that are taught in each step.

The programme has been designed to teach pupils to write neatly as quickly as possible in a structured and logical way. The initial video lesson is  ‘Getting Ready to Write’.  After this, there are exercises explaining letter heights, formation and spacing which are the crucial foundation before writing words and sentences. As the program continues the words are taught in their vowel groups. This is why the program does not progress in alphabetical order. The Magic Link teaches strategies and foundations in a simple and logical way. Pupils learn the essential skills to good handwriting as well as undoing all the bad habits which may have been learnt along the way.

It is very important to be consistent and use standard, wide-ruled, 8mm paper, which has a margin. This will reinforce letter heights in a format that replicates many exercise books and wide-ruled file paper. Varying the size of the paper confuses children and often results in bad handwriting. Because of this, I would recommend, with your teachers permission, to substitute and glue the correct lined paper in your child’s book.

Yes. It is possible for a whole class to follow the video program. This has been tried and tested very successfully in many British schools. Class pupils enjoy following the video steps and can watch on a projector or computer screen. It is advisable for adults to supervise the pupils to ensure they are following the steps correctly. Pupils often need a lot of reminding to sit up straight and to hold their pencil correctly as they forget.

Magic Link handwriting should transfer to school work in step 30, when all vowels and joins have been learnt. Each step teaches something new; letter spacing, letter size, letter formation, letter combinations, numbers, punctuation and these skills come together at the end. So please be patient!

Always copy out the ‘silly sentences’ every day to reinforce these skills and encourage the transfer of Magic Link handwriting.

It is essential to use pencils and pens which are triangular in shape as these promote a good grip. I particularly like the grey Faber -Castell pencils as children can be encouraged to count the 4 black dots under the first finger and thumb and not hold it too low to hide the words. My favourite pens are the Pentel Gel K437CR Black or Staedtler Blue and Black Fineliners.

All recommended stationary can be viewed at our store

Changing the grip takes time and it is normal for children to need a lot of reminding in every step. A wrap-around thumb makes handwriting awkward and hides the letters. Always use a triangular-shaped pen or pencil and encourage ‘frog’s legs fingers’  and eventually this grip will become easier and more natural. A further reminder can be seen on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxdUlX6lTHc