Is handwriting really an important skill anymore?

This week I am looking at handwriting.

Some people say that the ability to write neatly and legibly is fast becoming a redundant skill and there are differing opinions about which style of handwriting a child should be taught. This week, we will look at the whole area of handwriting and explore some of the ideas and theories related to it.

Did you know handwriting is a multisensory activity? This means that there is a link between the different senses. As each letter is formed, the information is shared with areas in your brain that processes language. As your eyes track what you’re writing, you engage these areas. The same goes if you say letter sounds and words when you write.

Research has shown that there is a special list between language development and handwriting – particularly the style of handwriting known as cursive – joined up writing. And that Children who practice handwriting do better at reading and spelling. This is because some experts believe that forming letters by hand while learning sounds activates reading circuits in the brain and this promotes the development of literacy. However, cursive handwriting does not work for all children. If your child is finding cursive writing a problem, then the most important thing is that they can form their letters correctly, hold their pencil correctly and write as neatly and legibly as possible.

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