Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Cloyd N. McAllister, 
the fingers will be used largely. This means of course that the elbow 
is to rest upon the desk. The child is unable to properly coordinate the 
movements of the arm. If the arm does not rest upon the desk, it will 
be held tightly to the side of the body in order to aid in the control of the 
movement. After the arm has been well trained, the rest will often be 
considered not necessary. The trunk of the body should be inclined a 
little forward, the back straight, the upper arms hanging nearly vertical ; 
the breast not touching the front edge of the desk. If the desk is suffi¬ 
ciently low, this permits an easy position for writing. The head, inclined 
slightly forward, should not be brought too close to the writing. The left 
forearm should be so placed that it will make an angle of about 6o° 
with the right forearm. All the larger movements should be made with 
the full arm, also all of the strokes directly up and down. The fingers 
should aid in forming the turns, producing thereby broader turns than 
the full arm movements alone would tend to produce. 
The preliminary training of the child should be to give it perfect con¬ 
trol of the hand. Clay modeling in the kindergarten is available for this 
purpose. This should be accompanied by the use of the brush. Most 
children have the slate or lead pencil placed in their hands at the start. 
The slate or lead pencil requires a firm grip and some pressure in order to 
produce friction enough to make the path of the point visible. The habit 
thus formed of gripping the pencil is seldom eradicated. 
The narrow path of the pencil permits small figures, the wrist or edge 
of the palm near the little finger rests upon the table, and the hand is 
moved by short, limping steps along the line. 
The broader path of the brush makes a small figure or character impos¬ 
sible for the small hands, and a large full arm movement is easily ac¬ 
quired. By the continued use of the brush a higher degree of muscular 
sensitiveness is gained \ the child soon learns to make finer and more 
regular lines. The bright colors and solid figures produced by the brush 
are of much more interest to the child than the empty outlines produced 
by a pencil. No attempt should be made to form letters until the child has 
acquired a fair degree of control of the movements of the arm. This should 
be followed by producing large letters with the brush, care being taken to 
see that the forms of the letters are properly impressed upon the child. 
The use of the pen will follow naturally from this. The brush does not 
require a hard grip, and the pen will be held lightly. Soft pens and light 
penholders should be used. Attention should be given to the manner of 
holding the pen ; the wrist or side of the palm must not rest upon the 
table ; the third and fourth fingers should support the hand. The ink 
used should be a heavy black or dark blue, and the paper a light yellow.


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