Schools are beginning to utilize tablets and laptops, resulting in less paper and pen work. Though this technology can enhance the child’s learning experience, we still must foster the importance of handwriting. In today’s digital age, children sometimes have the ability to type and text before they can write their name on a piece of paper. This raises the question, how important are handwriting skills and should this be what a child focuses on?
Studies on handwriting have actually raised some interesting relationships. Children who are capable of writing quickly and neatly are more likely to express their thoughts and ideas better through writing. Researchers were able to link increased cognitive activity with better handwriting when children in grades two through five were asked to brainstorm a composition.
What Can the Parent Do?
Your child’s success in their educational journey is important. One of the very first steps in this journey is learning how to write out letters and numbers and eventually, write out their name. There is no doubt that when your child first starts out, it is going to be messy and illegible, but as they practice you should see improvements. As a parent you can encourage your child to draw, color, trace shapes and play “connect the dots” games, before learning the alphabet is even a thought. These types of activities can be effective in helping your child develop the motor skills and the cognitive skills for neat handwriting.
The next step could be teaching your child how to color in the lines, which will help develop their hand-eye coordination. Exercise and proper posture are even proven to help aid in a child’s writing journey, since the better “in shape” the muscles of their hands, arms and shoulders are, the easier it will be for them to move and control their motions while writing. So, reduce the use of tablets and video games and encourage your children to use their creativity on paper through writing and drawing.