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  1. I've had this little booklet for sometime but finally got around to re-reading some parts of it. In the beginning he gives an illustration and some instructions on holding the pen. Usually i've ignored this type of material assuming that i hold the pen just fine. However, i do rest my wrist on the paper which McClure says not to do. How much weight should this advice be given? Is it worth it to learn to do this so that as i write more i avoid soreness or slowness?

  2. i am not sure i understand your question. Maybe the confusion is the word "rest." When i write my wrist is touching the desk or paper. McClure and Palmer say to only have the third and fourth fingers touching in addition to the point just in front of the elbow. I don't know how either way would effect the turning of pages.

  3. When my son was in occupational therapy for handwriting, he wrote each shape in three sizes. First he wrote about 12in high with a marker on a whiteboard, using mostly his shoulder and elbow. Then in a sand-tray or shaving foam using his index finger. Finally, he used a normal pencil.

    She explained that all the joints, including the shoulder, should be involved, not just the finger-tips.

    Also, although fingers arranged as mcbud describes is better for most kids, different holds are better for some kids. (Sometimes it's physical, sometimes it's just not worth the fight.) She looked for flexible and comfortable. Tight, cramped fingers were bad.

  4. Yes. When I write, I don't rest the wrist on the page, only the 3d-5th fingers actually, so I do not follow their recommendation to the letter. The important thing is not to put weight on the paper so that you can move your hand readily and fast, and be ready to turn the page.

    Perhaps these excerpts from Gregg Handwriting will make it clear:

    Correct Arm Position. The next step in securing the correct writing position is to learn the position of the writing arm. The large muscle of the forearm should rest comfortably on the desk, with the elbow just off the edge. This position of the arm permits the wrist to be slightly raised from the paper, thus securing a freedom and rapidity of movement that are impossible when the wrist drags along on the paper.

    Correct Hand Position. The writing hand is our next consideration. Support the pen-holder between the thumb and the index finger, resting its weight on the second finger. Al least one inch of the pen should extend below the tip of the first finger. In other words, the first finger should be an inch above the paper. The holder rests against the hand, approximately crossing the knuckle joint of the first finger. The third and fourth fingers are relaxed and curved, forming a comfortable rest for the weight of the hand, just as the large forearm muscle acts as a rest for the arm.

  5. However, if you examine the photos in Mr. Blanchard's 20 Shortcuts to Shorthand Speed, (Andrew has it posted here), pp. 21-22, It sure looks like our heroes were resting the wrist on the pad. This is especially true for Mr. Zoubek and even for Mr. Dupraw.

    On page 23, we read that the writers are indeed "resting on the three fingers not used for holding the pen" (though nothing is said about not resting on the wrist, per se. Moreover Mr. Swem looks like he's just resting on the little finger!) So I take this to mean that, while we don't really want to put weight on the wrist, it's still okay to have it on the pad. Else how do we explain the hand positions in these photos?

    Regarding Cricket's comment on motion, I read in one place that Mr. Dupraw was noted for the sweeping motion he employed with his forearm.

  6. I think the consistent point between these writers (Palmer, Zaner, McClure, the gregg writer article) is that writing at high speeds and for long periods needs to incorporate the major arm muscles as well as those around the shoulder. This is not possible when the arm rests at the wrist. When the wrist is engaged then the fingers do most of the writing. So, if someone is not sure whether their wrist is engaged they can easily find out by trying to write with it slightly elevated. If this is difficult it is most likely due to the fact that the wrist is the resting point. If, however, the wrist is merely brushing the pad, then lifting will not create much discomfort.

  7. Another idea is try writing across the entire page. One Teeline book (ah, memory, how fickle you are with references) specifically said to use the entire width of the page, not narrow columns. I think that would force your wrist to move.

  8. I don't recommend writing across the page for speed practice. You don't want to waste time moving your wrist and arm unnecessarily when you have a dividing line in the middle that keeps your writing movements controlled.

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