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Is Handwriting Necessary with So Much Digital Communication?

Today handwriting could be missed as not an essential part of education due to children using so much digital content. Handwriting has been taught for centuries and here is why handwriting is so important:

1. Improves memory retention – it engages the brain differently than using a keyboard or touching a screen. Through using our hands to make words children’s memory retention is improved they as well retain learning better when working through new ideas with pen to paper than screen time.

2. Holistic Approach: When children use their hand to write, there is some outstandingly physical and multidimensional about putting pen to paper to form words.

3. Helps Reading Skills: When learning to form letters through writing children interact with each letter in several different ways. It involves numerous tactile experiences, through engaging fine-motor skills of the finger and hand as well as larger muscles in the arm and body. As well sends signals from brain to the eye and to the hand to form each letter. This helps children imprint and retain letters and the letter sounds for easier recall when learning to read.

4. Creative Writing Process: When children write their first draft copy in written form, this allows for the process of reading through and interacting with their writing by correcting, editing and reshaping their draft. Apposed to typing, we tend to edit as we go which in turn divides and dissects the pieces and can hamper the flow of ideas.

5. Individual: When handwritten cards, notes and letters are given to friends or family members its more personal that a typed email or text message. Typed text cannot express the mood of the personally written paper.

6. Ability to Read Handwriting: Children who learn handwriting then can read and decipher handwriting. This comes from learning to write one’s own handwriting. Many children still need to read their parents or grandparents writings, or even historical documents were written by hand. Being able to read and decipher both cursive and print is an important part of language literacy.

7. Slowing Down: As writing by hand is a slower process, it will fully engage with our thoughts. It allows time for thoughts to fully form before being set down in sentences.

8. Creative: Using a pen and paper allows children to be creative and artistic every time they have a pen in their hand. They can doodle, weave or scribble on paper but keyboards give very little opportunities for a child to experience this type of artistic or creative play.

9. Individuality: Each child’s writing is different to another child. One’s handwriting style is like their own signature. Typeface gives no individuality to their text and can help a child to make a statement about their writings.

10. Life Skills: We all need to be handwriting in our lives, writing on Birthday Cards, filling in a form, signing our names so is an important skill we all need. Just as it helps with reading and spelling skills, handwriting also helps in fine motor skills in being able to hold a pen and writing on paper.

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