Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Is Handwriting Important?

Not long ago, a friend told me that our sons' school was not going to teach cursive anymore. Apparently they feel that there isn't enough time in the day for cursive to be taught. Furthermore, with advances in technology, cursive is going by the wayside. Now, although I am not certain, I am pretty sure they're still teaching printing. But, the question is, is handwriting really that important?

Printing instruction is definitely important. In the primary years, handwriting instruction improves reading and spelling. This is due to the fact that the child often learns the sound of the letter as they are forming it. Furthermore, practicing writing increases fine motor skills.

In later grades, lack of handwriting instruction & practice can hinder learning. If a child's handwriting is labored, he or she will not want to write. This not only can effect their academic performance, but their self-esteem as well.

You might be thinking, "but everything is done on the computer now". Well, did you know that college placement exams are handwritten. Not to mention, job applications. Also, being able to take notes in class quickly might be important.

If I haven't convinced you yet, here's a little more information. handwriting increases activity in your brain! MRI's have shown that people who printed letters had more brain activity, than those who typed them. Another study showed that the motions you make with your hands while writing, effect the parts of the brain involving thinking, language, and working memory.

What does that mean to us moms? Well, I hate to say it, but we may have to supplement our childrens' education. Yep, you heard me...teach your children how to write their letters.
Here's a few websites to help you out:

Bounds, Gwendolyn. "How Handwriting Trains the Brain." The Wallstreet Journal. N.p., 5 Oct. 2010. Web. 24 July 2012.
Green, Linda. "Campaign for Cursive." : Why Handwriting Is Important in School. American Handwriting Analysis Foundation (AHAF), 12 Feb. 2012. Web. 24 July 2012. <http://campaignforcursive.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-handwriting-is-important-in-school.html>.
"Importance of Handwriting." Handwriting Without Tears. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2012. <http://www.hwtears.com/hwt/why-it-works/handwriting-standards/importance-handwriting>.
Spear-Swerling, Louise. "The Importance of Teaching Handwriting." LD OnLine: The World's Leading Website on Learning Disabilities and ADHD. WETA, Aug. 2006. Web. 24 July 2012. <http://www.ldonline.org/spearswerling/The_Importance_of_Teaching_Handwriting>.

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