Benefits of Proper Pencil Grip


Three key benefits of proper pencil grip

Pencil grip debate: Handwriting doesn’t affect abilities

The de-emphasis on strict pencil grip enforcement in American schools began around the early 2000s. Apparently, legibility does not affect learning abilities, and to say otherwise is not evidence-based. [AJOT; NIH]

Despite what Western studies say, pencil grip remains critical in early child learning in most Asian and European countries.

1. Proper pencil grip develops fine motor skills

Cons of undeveloped writing skills

An incorrect pencil grip can lead to learning difficulties, pain, and poor motor skills. The ideal” tripod grip” is the best hand position for handwriting speed and muscle ease. [Theraphy Solution]

Children coming into school are being given a pencil but are increasingly unable to hold it because they don’t have fundamental movement skills,” said Sally Payne, head of the pediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England Foundation.

Experts on the other side

According to an article in Michigan University Extension, “Poor printing skills can impact a child’s self-esteem and motivation to attend school.” Therefore, the opposite is true. Good writing skills develop self-esteem. [CANR]

Once a student reaches high school, improper pencil grips are impossible to correct. At this stage, it’s no longer the teacher’s responsibility if a student has difficulty taking notes.

Unlearning a poor pencil grip is challenging and can lead to messy writing and discomfort, but good handwriting skills promote neat work that can translate into more confidence.


2. Correlation of good penmanship and good grades

A study by Dinehart and Manfra found that preschool children with better fine motor writing skills achieved higher reading and math scores.

Tripod or quadruped grasp fine motor activities help develop fine motor skills, endurance, and writing legibility. In other words, “good handwriting and good grades are related.” [WLRN; Dinehart and Manfra, 2013]

Findings from repeated studies at universities in the US, Europe, Australia, Japan, and China over the past fifty years confirm that those who are well-practiced in handwriting accomplish reading, writing, memory, and comprehension tasks more quickly and deeply than those who type on keyboards, tap, or use point-and-click devices,” Dr. Jane Yank, the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation’s research chair.” [Yank]

Research on this topic is limited. Even if it can be demonstrated that good handwriting skills do not directly impact academic outcomes, the discipline involved can foster perseverance in young individuals.


3. Enforcing proper pencil grip develops perseverance

A culture of mediocrity

The ability of young people to write properly depends heavily on discipline during their formative (writing) years. Evidently, the lack of enforcement has resulted in many students’ poor handwriting.

Among other forms of early discipline that were abandoned, these kids grew up in a culture of mediocrity, which many high school students find difficult to develop academic discipline.

Pencil grip is discipline

Discipline at a young age takes many forms, but one of them is pushing them to develop handwriting skills. Enforcing proper pencil grip fosters perseverance in children by requiring consistent practice, attention to detail, and resilience.

It develops perseverance

In the 1900s, American teachers introduced English and writing to the Philippines, employing strict discipline to foster exceptional legible writing skills and academic knowledge. As such, most students wrote better, making reading easier for students and teachers.

More importantly, it developed perseverance, and perseverance (in various avenues) must take its place so a student can be better and not lack anything.

Today, America is experiencing an epidemic of laziness, particularly among high school students. After all, they have been allowed to settle for mediocrity during their formative years.


The handwriting of Regina Villasante, who was taught to read and write in English by American teachers who came to the Philippines in 1901.

A civilized society writes well

For centuries, cultures have prioritized handwriting skills from the cuneiform to the modern alphabet. This is a critical aspect of any civilization.

Ancient civilizations, such as Egypt, China, Islamic culture, medieval Europe, and Japan, valued handwriting for communication and artistic expression, with scribes and calligraphers playing vital roles in preserving cultural and religious knowledge.

Scribes in ancient Israel were highly educated and underwent training to become proficient in writing, copying manuscripts, and interpreting religious texts.

Today, we see a generation of poor handwriters, one of the many reflections of what culture, devoid of discipline, has become.


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