The Case for Learning Through Handwriting

Child at school

Over the past 20+ years of providing speech-language therapy to students, I have noticed that the vast majority have very poor handwriting. Most of the children whom I service also have reading problems. Could there be a connection?

In a study carried out at Indiana University, the data showed that the process of writing letters activates portions of the brain in children, that are critical to reading.

Here is one father’s creative way of teaching his 2-year old daughter how to write the alphabet.

In spite of the research findings, schools seem to be moving away from teaching traditional handwriting to using technology. Forty-three states have now adopted curriculum guidelines that teach students how to type. Knowledge is now dispensed through textbooks accessed via iPads and other electronic tablets.

How can you contribute to your children’s success in school? All children love movement. They are wired to learn through play. Here’s one suggestion. Sanoma Media Netherlands B.V. has a very engaging, award-winning app called LetterSchool – an intuitive handwriting game that incorporates, writing, counting, phonics and more. It helps children develop the foundations of literacy and numeracy, thus reducing the emergence of academic difficulties.

I’ve tried it and liked it a lot.

Questions: If you have young children, how have you been helping them develop their handwriting skills? What do you think about the states’ move away from handwriting to keyboarding?

Florence is the mother of an amazing teenager; an educational consultant, author, speaker, speech-language pathologist, encourager and perpetual optimist. She shares tips, tools and resources with mothers (and other caregivers) of struggling and/or failing children. She is fiercely committed to helping them develop and enhance their children's foundational skills for learning, to grow them to success in school and life. A believer in the unique learning abilities of all children, she is an advocate for those who learn differently.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “The Case for Learning Through Handwriting

  1. This is sad that 43 states thus far have adopted curriculum incorporating technology in lieu of handwriting. On one hand, technology is the future and we need to be proficient. However, in my opinion, this should occur during or after handwriting proficiency. We will always need to write things down. I don’t understand the aversion to teaching kids handwriting. Very sad.

    • Sometimes, the powers that be get carried away with a good thing. Then it becomes a curse rather than a blessing. My intention is to make parents aware of the importance of handwriting and it’s connection to learning to the point where there help their children practice at home. Then, it wouldn’t matter whether it is offered in school or not. Parents taking ownership of their children’s education is one of my goals.

    • You know Nick, I hadn’t thought about how this could help left-handed people . I do notice the different hand positions they assume to write. Perhaps because they are usually taught to write by someone who is right-handed. Thanks for this idea…I will certainly keep it in the front of my mind.