There is an unexpected connection between learning handwriting and learning how to read. Sheldon H. Horowitz senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities, points out in an article for Understood.org, that, “Everyone learns best when information is presented in multiple ways.That’s especially true for kids with learning and attention issues. We call this multisensory learning.
“Handwriting is a multisensory activity. As you form each letter, your hand shares information with language processing areas in your brain. As your eyes track what you’re writing, you engage these areas. The same goes if you say letter sounds and words when you write. Research shows there’s something special about language development and the act of handwriting. In studies, kids who practice handwriting do better at reading and spelling. The reason? Some experts believe that forming letters by hand while learning sounds activates reading circuits in the brain that promote literacy.”
The same is not true for typing. Reaserch has shown that there is no improvement in reading when a child learns to type. Typing can have other benefits, the ease with which you can type, make changes and add without having to throw your paper away and start again is great. Spell checkers and grammar correction can also be a lifeline for kids. It’s just that writing by hand delivers other benefits.
Starting from the 2019 – 2020 school year, Texas Elementary students will have to be taught handwriting again, both printed and cursive. Diane Schallert, a professor from the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas told Fox News “Learning could be enhanced by improving writing skills. With language comprehension, there’s this reciprocity between producing and comprehending. By seeing the letter being formed slowly at your control, you’re considering its sound-symbol correspondence.”
According to Suzanne Baruch Asherson, an occupational therapist and presenter for Handwriting Without Tears, an early childhood education company, cursive handwriting improves communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which is absent when we print and type. Asherson added, “the physical act of writing in cursive leads to increased comprehension and participation.”
In short, there is loads of evidence that teaching your child to write by hand is a good idea. Schools do what they can but unless it’s been mandated, handwriting in your school might be given a low priority. If you’re home schooling you may also find it helpful to send your child along to an Occupational Therapist for some specialist handwriting training.
We are offering a cursive camp here in Fort Collins the week before school starts. August 12th – 16th, 9am to 12pm Monday thru Friday. During that week, your child will learn all lower case letters and the capitals of their name by playing games and having fun, moving around and working at stations. We will do finger gymnastics, mazes, and play marbles amongst the activities.
Register here to give your child the best possible start in their academic career: https://maxinehallerandassociates.as.me/KBTcursive