Does Handwriting Skills Still Matter In The Digital Age?
Technology has changed the way people communicate and live. In this digital age, written communication has shifted from being an art of pen and paper to typed texts on computing devices. So, does it mean handwriting skills has lost its place in society?
With the innovation of advanced speech synthesis and voice recognition technology, even typing on the keyboard will soon disappear into thin air. Technology has become a significant part of our kid’s lives. It is now easier to teach children how to hit the keyboard, touch or swipe, than how to hold a pen. So, should we throw away the pen and paper? Are handwriting skills still crucial to digital kids?
Importance of Handwriting Skills
Writing by hand is a skill that should be taught to children. It should be taught at an early stage as a tool for learning and memory development. Well, I must admit that it is not easy to teach handwriting or easy for kids to learn. But, it is more critical than just drawing letters on a paper. Psychologist and child development specialists have proven that writing by hand activates the child’s part of the brain. Indeed, this is responsible for evoking information and generation of new thoughts. This is because it involves the left fusiform gyrus, the frontal gyrus and the posterior parietal cortex. The three are fundamental parts of the human brain that facilitate cognitive development.
Learning how to write by use of hand also helps in physical coordination, stamina, posture and rhythm. This trains a child’s muscle to remain seated and concentrate for a long period. Handwriting is very different from typing or tapping letters on a digital device. It is a combination of some skills like holding and feeling the pen and paper, visualising the letters in your mind, and moving the pen on the paper both physically and mentally. If kids fail to master this motor exercise, even their spelling will end up being poor. Spelling requires the perception of letter sounds, audio memory and decoding and these skills are taught through handwriting. This makes handwriting one of the basic but fundamental skills in learning.
Learning through Actions
Learning handwriting skills help kids to learn more easily and quickly, especially in spelling, word formation and sentence construction. These are the basic elements of learning in any language. According to education research, writing down letters enables us to see the letters as shapes with characteristics such as texture, form, space and weight. This perception makes reading easy for the children as they can identify and differentiate different letters. A child will also internalize what they have learnt before they put it down in ink.
How To Teach Kids How To Hand Write
Writing starts by making marks on the paper even before the kid can learn any letters. This helps to train kids to trace or draw shapes and to learn how to coordinate both the brain and the hand to make sequential movements on the paper, copying and recognition of shapes. Colouring of shapes and images also train kids how to make controlled movements. Exercise that allows movement of the finger muscles, as well as hand-eye coordination skills, helps kids to learn the art of writing more easily.
In conclusion, surveys and research conducted by professionals and specialists in the education sector show how essential handwriting skills are in the learning process, and we can’t afford to throw it into the drain even in an era where technology has taken control of almost every aspect of our life.
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