I have written on this blog numerous times over the years about my love of handwriting (A mate of mine – and inspirational speaker – Malcolm McLead in Brisbane, does a great handwriting analysis routine) . The intimacy of a written note. The unique illustration it serves. How it’s yours alone and says so much about who you are. I scribble on memos and always will.
I come back to this topic after reading a piece in the New York Times exploring the links between handwriting and educational development. In the US, kids are taught ‘legible’ handwriting but the emphasis shifts to typing as early as Grade 2 (about 7 years). Sure, we all need to learn how to pump a keyboard, but in the rush to master touch-typing our children are missing out on the benefits handwriting brings to learning. Studies reveal that when writing by hand:
- Children learn to read more quickly.
- Children produce more words and express more ideas.
- Three areas of the brain are fired. Typing barely registers.
- University students learn better and retain more information.
Get your children to write by hand. It may take longer, it may feel a lot more arduous that scattering fingers on a keyboard, but it helps develop the brain in more ways than we previously thought.