Keeping Handwriting Alive in the Digital Age is still critically important to the overall development and mastering of hand-eye coordination in children. Handwriting is a complex task and an important foundational skill which requires various skills including feeling the pen and paper, moving the writing implement and directing movement by thought. Children generally take several years to master this precise motor exercise, however, a generation of digital age children has grown up learning digitally and may be in danger of falling behind in their development. Studies have shown that handwriting helps children create, imagine, and recall information. Besides handwriting teaching children how to read more quickly and helps children to generate ideas and preserve information better
As world technology continues to improve, we are becoming more reliant on technology rather than what’s inside our heads and thus handwriting in the digital age has become less and less prevalent. These “smart “ tools, give us the power to avoid needing to learning handwriting and the hand-eye coordination that comes with handwriting skills. Studies have discovered a strong correlation between hand-eye coordination, learning abilities and social communication skills.
In fact, hand-eye coordination is one of the most important parts of the learning process and can greatly impact writing skills and handwriting. Our eyes send a message to the brain about a certain object (pencil, pen marker), which triggers signals to our hands for a reaction to that object (writing). Hand-eye coordination also involves and utilizes many other important body system and if your child struggles with hand-eye coordination, you may find they have a hard time with balance and coordination.
In an article published by HealthyChildren.org author Linda Chassiakos, MD, FAAP notes the importance of handwriting in the digital age when she states,“Improving children’s penmanship, legibility, pencil grasp, and working on problem areas are all important things that need to be addressed—especially in the digital age when most of our written communication is done through texting on mobile devices or typing on a keyboard. Voice recognition software has even evolved to the point that commands can now be verbal—making even keystrokes obsolete! “
And, in her book, Sensory Integration and the Child, A. Jean Ayres, PhD, says, “Integration of vestibular and proprioceptive inputs gives the child control over his eye movements. Without the guidance of these sensations, it is difficult for the child to focus on an object or follow it as it moves. Later on it may be difficult to move the eyes along a line of print. Reading may be so exhausting that it simply isn’t worth the effort.”
According to The Conversation, “Contemporary education and psychology research suggest handwriting skills help children to learn by writing down what they are learning in terms of spelling and sentence construction, similar to note taking in other subject areas.” This is something that tablets and smart phones do not do because they auto-correct and spell check. It takes away the learning experience from the child in terms of being able to see how the letters form. The Conversation continues by saying “Handwriting provides us with the ability to see letters as shapes with form, weight, texture, and space and this facilitates ease of reading by being able to form and identify letters that are clearly distinguishable from each other.”
Thus, keeping handwriting alive in the digital age is in our best interest of today’s children.
Keeping Handwriting Alive in the Digital Age
Helping preschool and school age children to improve and master the hand-eye coordination essential to keeping handwriting alive in the digital age is one of the essential cornerstones of the Practice Power System. The dry erase technology allows repeated use time after time engaging students in fun learning activities. As we always say…Practice Makes Perfect! . Contact Us today for more information.
National Handwriting Day Is January 23rd
And, to help in the quest of Keeping Handwriting Alive in the Digital Age, please remember to celebrate National Handwriting Day every January 23 which is also John Hancock’s birthday, the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence and famous for his large, bold, beautifully written signature.