A big debate has been going on for some time now about the importance of handwriting. Technology has done away with much of our need to actually write, and recent statistics have shown that the average adult will go 41 days without putting pen to paper. This trend is now being seen much more in classrooms, where kids are being encouraged to use computers and tablets instead.
However, while many people believe this to be a positive move, an equal number believe that kids are missing out on an important part of their education from not being taught handwriting in the traditional way. And parents are finding themselves caught up in this debate as they’re faced with the decision to either press the matter and insist that their children learn ‘proper’ handwriting (as opposed to printing), or whether they should let the matter slide.
On one side of the debate is the very real fact that we no longer live in a world where pen, pencil and paper are the only ways of communicating the written word. Not only are computers faster and often more effective, but they’re also essential tools for survival in the modern world. Computer literacy has replaced handwriting literacy in terms of importance, and with very good reason. So, are handwriting enthusiasts simply holding onto cursive for tradition’s sake? Or is there more to it than that?
What many handwriting detractors may not have realised, is that the process of handwriting is possibly more important than the actual outcome. Studies have shown that handwriting can improve coordination, as well as higher level cognitive processing of the sort that will enable your child to further develop their critical thinking faculties. Not only that, but handwriting personalises work and communication in a way that word processing simply cannot. Your child will be able to better engage with the task at hand, and may feel as though they have accomplished more at the end.
Teaching Handwriting at Home
If you’re adamant about teaching your child handwriting, but their school isn’t as supportive as you would like them to be, there are ways of getting around this roadblock. One good method is to incorporate handwriting into their usual homework routine. Firstly, make sure you have a suitable area set up with a solid surface on which they work – many parents prefer dining tables for this purpose, and you’ll be able to find a suitable one at Top Furniture Ltd or any other good furniture retailer. Then simply encourage your child to have fun with their handwriting. Tracing is a tried and tested method of improving coordination, and turning handwriting into a game will help to encourage your child to practice.