Handwriting and Children: Learning to Write
The physical act of writing is essential to success in the classroom and in life. As literate beings we need to know how to read and communicate using the written word. I still remember being in elementary school and filling pages and pages with evenly spaced, continuous circles and lines, in preparation for cursive writing. As an artistic kid, I rather enjoyed those assignments and still find them in my current day doodles.
Unfortunately, in many classrooms, cursive instruction is being replaced by keyboard use, and yet research shows that the physical act of writing actually helps kids process learning on a deeper cognitive level. Studies have also shown that kids write faster by hand and generate more ideas while writing. The sequential finger movements used in writing, activates regions of the brain used in memory and learning, while children who practice writing by hand demonstrates increased neural activity. So it seems those pages and pages of circles and lines were beneficial after all.
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. So regardless of what’s happening in the classroom, help build your child’s unconscious competence and do some writing at home with these 10 fun activities.
Stay tuned, Wednesday for my favorite activities that help your child develop better handwriting skills.
What is your child’s learning style? There are three basic learning styles; visual, tactile, and auditory. Take the test and get immediate results: Is your child a visual learner?
Founder and CEO of Young Rembrandts and Author of Being Visual
November 12, 2012 @ 10:50 am
My elementary age Young Rembrandts students in Wylie, Texas are always so proud to be able to sign their drawings in cursive! Some in kindergarten and first grades will ask me to write their names in cursive for them if they haven’t learned it yet, and they will copy it and learn it from my example. I hope their teachers are impressed when they get to cursive handwriting in third grade. Every artist wants a distinctive, legible signature! As a part-time professional calligrapher, I truly appreciate the beauty of the handwritten word.
November 13, 2012 @ 3:19 pm
I would agree – and think its not just artists that want a distinctive, legible signature. Most people are actually embarrassed by their handwriting – and especially their signature. How wonderful you have that sensitivity and give your students the opportunity to practice and impress !! Think of how good they feel about themselves.
November 26, 2012 @ 8:51 am
Bette, I am going to buy your book today. I was online looking for kid’s art program’s for my daughter for Christmas and found your blog. I am very impressed. I have no training in art or education but I share your exact thoughts on handwriting as a means to active thought. In our house our two daughters have always had the space, materials, time and encouragement to draw, color and write. I know how important it is for them to express their feelings daily in this way and also how relaxing and enjoyable it is for them. Thank you for creating programs like Rembrants and for expressing your experience on visual learning in your book….I look forward to reading it and using the information to help raise my daughters.
November 27, 2012 @ 1:07 pm
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I love that you understand your children’s need to draw, write and color and you provide the space, tools and encouragement. This world is so intense, so hurried and overactive, I think it will become even more critical for people to pursue activity that helps them quiet themselves, find inner peace and a way to share their personal thoughts.
Your girls are very fortunate you understand and are preparing them well. I hope you will touch base again as you read Being Visual. I look forward to hearing what you think as you read and apply the ideas.
Written note taking | Handwriting vs typing | Bette Fetter
November 5, 2019 @ 12:22 pm
[…] Cursive handwriting is dying. Here is some more information on why handwriting matters and how to help your child get proficient at it so they can retain the information they are learning. […]