Posted by: ugleepen | March 15, 2012

Does Handwriting Keep Minds Sharp?

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.

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Responses

  1. -I began 1st grade in 1957, my teacher was to retire at the end of the school year. I clearly remember being taught to write my name in cursive. Proper handwriting was stressed. I look back and kind of feel sorry for the teacher with 7 of 30 students being left-handed. She tried with all her might to force us to be right-handed. I don’t think it worked. I remember throwing pencils out of frustration. Yes, I was one of the left-handers.
    -From 1st through 8th grade we learned the Palmer, then in 3rd grade, Cursive. I was weird and practiced handwriting almost daily to “perfect” my individual handwriting style.
    -I have a primer that was my Father’s from the early 19 teens and the early lessons were in Cursive. I find that to be very interesting.
    -I feel the teaching of Handwriting as part of the school curriculum to be very beneficial for a couple of reasons; to be able to read a persons writing and to teach focus. At 60, I still get compliments on my handwriting. So I guess there is another reason…to have pride. I have never used an UGLee pen, but would love to. Maybe if I ever get a credit or debit card.

  2. […] say that cursive is a waste of time today. Proponents of teaching penmanship say that cursive helps students’ brains, coordination and motor […]


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