The rise of the digital age and increasing demands on teachers’ time have both meant that handwriting has taken a back seat to other pursuits, both inside and outside the classroom. Having “good penmanship” is no longer the status symbol it once was, and many of us are challenged to even think of the last time we had to write out a long composition by hand.
Despite all of this, there is substantial evidence that handwriting plays a vitally important role in overall academic success. Consider the following:
- brain scans reveal that all “writing” is not the same and that printing, cursive, and typing are all associated with very different brain patterns.
- in one study, children with better handwriting showed greater activity in areas of the brain related to working memory, reading, and writing.
- targeting handwriting, and cursive in particular, may be effective in remediating developmental dysgraphia.
- handwriting is believed to be a critical element in how we learn letters and in the acquisition of early, foundational reading skills.
- several studies have shown that students learn better when they take notes by hand than via keyboard.
So hey! Let’s work on that handwriting! We’ve put together this handy resource with the 6 critical elements that kids need in order to have handwriting success, as well as how an occupational therapist (OT) can help improve function and performance. Look it over, download it, and if you think you’d like to talk to an OT, contact us! We’re currently offering online occupational therapy appointments for kids of all ages and are working with several families on improving handwriting with the goal of being ready for whatever the Fall brings.