Why handwriting is important Contrary to the view that handwriting is a trivial skill, handwriting actually is important for a number of reasons. Although word-processing programs and assistive technology are undeniably boons to children with writing problems, technological advances do not eliminate the need for explicit teaching of handwriting.
Back to Top Instruction in handwriting Relatively modest investments of instructional time devoted to handwriting — perhaps the equivalent of ten or fifteen minutes daily — may pay off in preventing later writing problems, including difficulties with higher-level composition skills.
Historically, some authorities argued for the superiority of one form over the other for children with LDs, most often for the superiority of cursive over manuscript. Forming the letter beginning on the left side, without lifting the pencil from the paper, is much more conducive to building eventual speed of writing.
Written arrow cues for handwriting research and resources dotted letters and copying letters are important so that children do not inadvertently practice incorrect letter formation repeatedly.
Teach similarly formed letters together, and use an instructional sequence that takes into account both ease of formation and frequency in words. Even for young children, however, handwriting instruction should occur in the context of a broader program of written expression in which children learn many other writing skills and develop motivation to write.
For children at beginning stages of reading and spelling, integrate handwriting instruction with instruction in letter sounds.
Children should learn a highly consistent way to form a given letter every time they write it.
Once children can form individual letters, explicit teaching of letter connections is important. It also is useful to distinguish different standards for legibility depending on the purpose for writing; for example, in taking notes, "messy" handwriting is entirely acceptable as long as children can easily read their own writing.
For example, teach children to write the letter b by starting at the top with a vertical stroke, then making the loop to the right without lifting the pencil, rather than having children form the vertical line and the loop in separate strokes.
For instance, while children are practicing writing a given letter, they can also be saying the sound the letter makes. Unlike manuscript writing, cursive writing involves making connections between letters within a word.
Teach children consistent formation of letters using a continuous stroke if possible. Attention to the linkages among handwriting, reading, and spelling skills can help to reinforce early achievement across these areas.
Louise Spear-Swerling After a long period of neglect in education, attention to teaching handwriting in the primary grades may finally be returning. Finally, handwriting in the earliest grades is linked to basic reading and spelling achievement; for example, when children learn how to form the letter m, they can also be learning its sound.
When children are learning to form a new letter, it is helpful to begin with large movements such as forming the letter in the air; have children use a sweeping movement with the entire arm, not just the hand.
With either form, however, children must eventually develop enough speed to use writing efficiently in tasks such as note-taking or test-taking. This initial practice should emphasize learning the motor pattern with correct formation of the letter e. Execution includes correct and consistent pencil hold, posture, and letter formation.
Of course, children also should have access to word-processing programs and assistive technology, with appropriate accommodations as needed for individual students.
If children have learned both manuscript and cursive, as is often the case with older youngsters, then assessment should consider the execution, legibility, and speed of both forms of writing. Here are a few specific suggestions for teaching handwriting: Moreover, when handwriting is perceived as arduous and time-consuming, motivation to write may be greatly reduced, leading to a lack of practice that may further compound difficulties with writing.
Aim for speed as well as legibility. Assessment of handwriting skills Assessment of handwriting should incorporate observations of execution, legibility, and speed of writing. Children appear less likely to confuse visually similar letters if they have learned one letter of a confusable pair well prior to introduction of the other letter of the pair.
One involves the concept of mental resources to which I have alluded in several other columns, in relation to reading and mathematics as well as writing.
For instance, young children may "draw" a letter such as m using separate strokes, starting on the right side of the letter. Just as effortful word decoding may impair reading comprehension, or lack of automatic recall may reduce the mental resources available for learning advanced computational algorithms in math, labored handwriting creates a drain on mental resources needed for higher-level aspects of writing, such as attention to content, elaboration of details, and organization of ideas.
Use written arrow cues to help children remember how to form letters. Back to Top Manuscript or cursive?The current work reviews the literature on handwriting and its place in early childhood education.
Overall, this article serves as a call for (a) researchers to continue examining the role of handwriting in the early education and development of young children and (b) practitioners to develop and implement programmes they know to be best.
Jun 03, · What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades and vice versa — suggesting that the two writing modes activate separate brain networks and engage more cognitive resources than would be. For more tips and resources on reading old handwriting, see the October issue of Family Tree Magazine Home / Family Tree Premium Articles / How-Tos & Tutorials / Genealogy Research Strategies / Genealogy Research Tips / Handwriting Resources.
Handwriting Resources Handwriting Resources Family Tree Editors August 20, updated on. Learning Without Tears provides developmentally appropriate instruction for handwriting, keyboarding, in grades K-5 and preschool.
Do your children need to practise their handwriting?
We have a huge collection of free printable handwriting sheets and resources that you can download and use. Contrary to the view that handwriting is a trivial skill, handwriting actually is important for a number of reasons.
One involves the concept of mental resources to which I have alluded in several other columns, in relation to reading and mathematics as well as writing.Download