Dr. V.S. Gayathri
The Art of Handwriting - Its Importance & Benefits!
Handwriting is something we start using from a very early age, and probably for the rest of our lives. Handwriting is an essential skill in school and college, but often we see it as a secondary skill. Having a good command over handwriting can prove life-long benefits. It is always better to start as early as possible.
Though, we are moving toward an era of computer typing, handwriting remains a crucial skill during the developmental phase of children. Research shows that writing by hand helps us learn. When students develop fluent and functional handwriting skills, they can write by hand to learn in every subject area.
Let us understand a few important benefits of learning the art of handwriting:
It activates the brain: Writing by hand is really stimulating to the brain. Writing involves the use of more complex motor and cognitive skills compared. Good and legible handwriting also accelerates reading fluency.
It improves writing: Regular handwriting helps to improve the style and pace of writing. Dr. Virginia Berninger, an educational psychologist at the University of Washington, discovered through her research that students actually write better – and more – when writing by hand as opposed to typing: “What we found was that children until about grade six were writing more words, writing faster and expressing more ideas if they could use handwriting…than if they used the keyboard.”
It aids in better understanding and comprehension: The connection between handwriting and reading is discussed in the reviews by Richey (2008) and Vander Hart, Fitzpatrick, and Cortesa (2010), wherein they point out that learning how to write individual letters and spell words has been shown to reinforce the skills of letter naming, phonemic awareness, and word reading.
Taking written notes increases attention span and a better understanding of the topic. It improves attention, comprehension, and results. With good handwriting, children are motivated to take their own notes making them better at the subjects they are learning.
It enhances confidence: Writing is a way of personal expression as it displays the creative quotient of a child. Having good handwriting can result in an increase in self-esteem which is directly related to confidence. Children who develop their handwriting skills see an improvement in their brain functioning allowing them to achieve more.
It boosts creativity: Writing by hand also boosts creativity. Many famous writers – including Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, and Quentin Tarantino – prefer to write by hand. It has a meditative quality to it, calming the mind and allowing ideas to flow more freely. It also forces the writer to slow down, giving the brain time to process thoughts and more carefully form the ideas they are transferring to paper.
It helps in getting good grades: Regular handwriting practice helps in reducing learning obstructions. If the handwriting is good, it helps to fetch better marks because teachers are able to understand what they have written. Good handwriting helps in increasing the speed of writing and helps the student to manage time.
Many people are reviving the art of handwriting through Calligraphy, and hand-written notes, and of course, there are many authors who still use the traditional way of writing their first draft by hand.
Parents often fret that their kids don’t have good handwriting, but it is also important to give them the right tools and support to practice handwriting in the right way. As more and more are using digital means, it is becoming a challenge for many.
In our subsequent blogs this month, we will highlight different ways in which parents can help improve the handwriting of their children and the appropriate resources and tools to be used.