We’ve mentioned a number of times here that the handwriting is on the wall, as it were, for handwriting in school curriculums. Many school districts across the country are voting to drop handwriting instruction in favor of a heavier emphasis on computer skills.
Now the group “Handwriting Without Tears,” which has been around for some 30 years, is stepping up to encourage writing instruction back in the classroom.
Organizers from Handwriting Without Tears teach educators how to make handwriting fun in their classrooms. The organization believes a strong writing curriculum helps students express themselves and think better. And their belief is if handwriting is not mastered students will be sloppy, slow and unqualified to write.
One educator admits that “A lot of the pre-K kids that I work with are having difficult time learning how to write their letters and their names,” and has joined forces with Handwriting Without Tears “because I wanted to learn a new way to teach them.”
Study after study shows that handwriting engages the brain in such as way as to be a cognitive exercise in such a way as to keep minds sharp. The Wall Street Journal reported on recent research that illustrates how writing by hand engages the brain in learning.
During one study atIndianaUniversitypublished this year, researchers invited children to man a “spaceship,” actually an MRI machine using a specialized scan called “functional” MRI that spots neural activity in the brain.
The kids were shown letters before and after receiving different letter-learning instruction. In children who had practiced printing by hand, the neural activity was far more enhanced and “adult-like” than in those who had simply looked at letters.
“It seems there is something really important about manually manipulating and drawing out two-dimensional things we see all the time,” says Karin Harman James, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience atIndianaUniversitywho led the study.
Children who are just developing their fine motor skills, and adults who are trying to prevent stress-related hand injuries, can both benefit by using a scientifically-designed ergonomic pen. And since handwriting is being shown more and more to be an important aspect of our cognitive health, use the UGLee Pen and get back into the habit of writing every day.