Whether they’re in a classroom or online, right brain kids have to be involved in what they’re learning. They have to see it, touch it, interact with it, in order for brain to connect and retain the information. Engaging the body in writing by hand is a great way to make learning a more holistic activity. And, we know the right brain loves a holistic approach. While technology and culture are goading them to work faster and more intensely, tasks such as writing can help them find a healthy balance in their learning and play.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and distance learning, writing by hand is being replaced by keyboard use. However, research shows that the physical act of writing actually helps kids process learning on a deeper cognitive level. The brain engages differently when we write something by hand as opposed to typing it on a keyboard or by touching a screen. Studies show that writing improves memory; students retain learning better when working with new ideas through handwriting instead of typing. The sequential finger movements used in writing, activates regions of the brain used in memory and learning, while children who practice writing by hand demonstrate increased neural activity.
So, how do we help our right brain kids get some more writing into their distance learning day?
- Have them write down their list of daily tasks every day. Both school and home responsibilities.
- Print out homework assignments, fill in the answers on paper, then when the assignment is complete, transfer their answers to the online worksheet.
- Ask kids to write notes during online lessons, especially if they are watching or listening to something pre-recorded.
- If they have essays or longer writing assignments to compose, have them write at least the first draft by hand.
- Allow and even encourage doodling when appropriate.
In order for the writing exercises to be helpful, skilled, fluid handwriting is also essential. It has a soothing flow and rhythm and, gaining mastery of the physical act of writing builds a level of unconscious competence for learners. This competence means they have to spend less time thinking about writing, allowing them to focus on the content at hand. Help build your child’s unconscious competence and do some writing at home with our FREE 7 Days to Better Handwriting series.
Find out more as to why writing by hand is essential for learning here.