Thursday, July 7, 2011

The benefits of handwriting

From a Chicago Tribune article about the benefits of handwriting:

“For children, handwriting is extremely important. Not how well they do it, but that they do it and practice it,” said Karin Harman James, an assistant professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University. “Typing does not do the same thing.”
James’s research suggests that writing by hand helps preliterate children to recognize letters. Other research mentioned in this article suggests that writing by hand aids memory and leads to greater fluidity in composition. These claims seem intuitive and obvious to me, but it’s nice that there’s data to lend support.

A related post
Cursive writing in Indiana (Planned obsolescence)

[I’m reminded of the Field Notes slogan: “I’m not writing it down to remember it later, I’m writing it down to remember it now.”]

comments: 1

Elaine said...

I think there is certainly research that children's development is aided by numerous activities that assist in sensory perception, neuro-muscular coordination, etc. Handwriting certainly matters. Occupational therapists would add that very young children should be working on a vertical surface (easel, chalkboard) and using writing tools that offer resistance (crayons, chalk, fingerpaint.) In general, this is not happening.

We see the value of these activities proven, often, in the breach--as when development has gone awry. (Our son had/has dyspraxia: significant difficulty with motor patterning, planning, and execution. I did teach him keyboarding at an early age, but at the same time continued to work on his sensorimotor deficits. Lots of OT.)