Is handwriting a lost art? Remember the days when writing a thank you note was the norm, reading cursive was an expectation and not a choice, and writing your signature set you apart from everyone else? Surprisingly, things have changed for our children. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for children to be introduced to technology early on both in and outside of the classroom. With the increased use of technology, many of our children will lack a skill set that affects their functionality in the world.
Handwriting is still an important skill. Both handwriting and reading are interrelated. The ability to write by hand not only improves motor skills but also the ability to better generate ideas and retain information. What we write and how we write matters. When most people think about handwriting, they only think about putting pen to paper. Well….it’s not that simple! Did you know that there are 15 skills needed for handwriting?:
- Fine motor coordination- the coordination of small motor skills of both the hand and fingers in synchronized movements.
- Memory recall- the ability to recall letter formations and the hand strokes in which to make each letter.
- Visual focusing- the ability for the eyes to work together.
- Mental attention- the ability to focus on the task at hand while tuning out distractions.
- Spatial perception- the ability to utilize one’s workspace wisely.
- Organization- the ability to use the mind, body, and space to produce organized physical movements.
- Inner expressive language- the ability to clearly express one’s thoughts in writing.
- Crossing midline- the ability to use one’s eyes, hands and forearm in isolation across midline without moving the entire body.
- Concentration with awareness- the ability to pay close attention to details and formation for carryover.
- Receptive language- the ability to perceive relative concepts and follow verbal directions.
- Integration- the ability to use the mind, body, and space to creatively express oneself in written form.
- Eye-hand coordination- the ability to coordinate the eyes and hands in one movement
- Tactile input- the ability to feel a writing utensil between the index finger and thumb, and applying the appropriate pressure.
- Motor planning- the ability to consciously plan and execute a purposeful action.
- Organized physical movements- the ability to maintain postural balance while seated and holding a writing tool.
Completing assignments by hand is still prevalent in most classrooms. With the increased academic demands and limited time, children are not afforded the opportunity to be taught correct letter formation. Consequently, The Penmanship Lab is a perfect solution to get expert instruction and meaningful practice! Learning correct letter formation can lead to more efficient and fluent writers. Added instruction and practice is imperative in order to support the lifelong skill of handwriting. Research shows that formal handwriting instruction increases a student’s academic success in all areas of academics when formative handwriting instruction is provided.