During the writing movement, there is ‘writing time’ when the pen is in contact with the writing surface, and ‘air time’ when the pen is held in the air as the hand moves to a new position to write the next letter.
The shorter the ‘air time’ and the fewer movements that occur during that time, the more automated the handwriting becomes. The flow of writing is interrupted when the pen is in the air for too long.
Movements in the air allow the child to mentally prepare for future movements necessary for writing. These cognitive processes can relate to letter formation or spelling. When promoting writing fluency, it is therefore important to observe and incorporate these criteria.