Handwriting Influences Thought

handwriting skillsStudies show strong connection between handwriting and cognitive development

Should we still be teaching handwriting? Reading Kingdom founder, Dr. Marion Blank has found through decades of research that children who learn to write well by hand gain key physical and visual memory abilities that help develop literacy skills.  The following story from Epoch Times further explains why this skill, although becoming obsolete, is still vital to childhood development.

“In a world dominated by texts and emails, schools are devoting less attention to handwriting. But experts warn that the trend deprives students of a valuable skill.  In her 2009 book “Script & Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting,” Kitty Burns Florey recalled the 1950s at St. John the Baptist Academy in Syracuse, New York, where she progressed from pencil, to ink well, to the newfangled extravagance of ball point pen. Her exploration with penmanship cultivated a sense of identity not possible with a keyboard.

“It’s obvious now that most of my scriptorial attempts were outrageously pretentious, appallingly twee, but I considered each one the height of cool—the proper handwriting for an aspiring Bohemian, a future writer, a deeply sensitive person who wrote deeply sensitive poetry and then burned it in the sink, weeping,” Florey wrote.  In today’s classroom, however, students have little time to learn the basics, much less experiment with personal style. The latest federal standards under the Common Core only cover handwriting in kindergarten and first grade.  States have the option to expand handwriting instruction, but many don’t think kids need much more. Today 41 states don’t require cursive, and most districts choose to reserve class time for other skills. “It’s much more likely that keyboarding will help students succeed in careers and in school than it is that cursive will,” said Morgan Polikoff, an assistant professor of K-12 policy and leadership at the University of Southern California.

Penmanship and the Cognitive Process

People who value penmanship point to recent studies which show a strong connection between handwriting and brain development. Research showed that the act of writing helped children learn letters and shapes, develop fine motor skills, and generate better ideas than when working on a computer.  MRI evidence from a 2010 Indiana University study showed that children demonstrated much more neural activity with handwriting practice than from just looking at letters on a page…”

Read the full article here.

When children can write effectively, they can read effectively. Because so little attention is given to the teaching of handwriting, many children struggle to master this skill. Now the struggle is over. Through simple, but amazingly effective techniques, your child can learn to handwrite easily and effectively within a few weeks via the Letter Land by Hand program developed by Dr. Marion Blank!