Rosemary Sassoon, one of the world’s leading researchers into how and when a child should be writing before she retired, says that insisting a child writes neatly using the dynamic tripod grip is unfair and damaging. In her recent Tes podcast she says:
“I really dislike the word ‘neat’; we say to children – the work must be neat. But what is ‘neat’? It is a frightening word when you are a child.
It is too didactic – and harmful – to dictate a traditional grip,” Sassoon explains. “What I found is that children who were constantly criticised, it affected them very badly and it affected their ability and desire to write.
Many unconventional pen holds work perfectly well. The only reason to change a grip is if the pen hold causes them pain – then you have to help them find another way. But if it is working well for them, and they can write as fast as they need to, then they should be left alone.
Writing is the way you present yourself to the world on paper, it’s the way your body works. For many years, we have been far too didactic about ‘copying the model’.”
To read more and access her podcast click here