Monday, February 06, 2012

The Importance of Handwriting Practice For Children

I came across an article in CNN titled "Connecting the dots between handwriting and high scores". It talked about the findings of Dr. Laura Dinehart, an assistant professor at the Florida International University School of Education. She took a look at 1000 second graders and compared information to when they were in pre-kindergarten. She found that students who received better handwriting grades in pre-kindergarten, were getting better scores in 2nd grade.

What's the connection?
They are not very clear and actually have more questions on why this is so. Another research does suggest a possible link: physically writing out the alphabets helps children recognize the letters faster than those who use the keyboard.

Why is this finding important for parents to know?
Well, in this day and age where kids rather be on the computer than on the table writing, we must encourage our children to write. Give them crayons, color pencils, pencils and whatever they fancy. Keep it fun. We must not underestimate the importance of them developing the fine motor skills when writing. Here's what Dinehart says "“What we do know is that kids with greater experiences in early childhood do better later on, and writing can’t be discounted from that".

It can be boring to repetitively write letters page after page. So why not find ways to make writing more meaningful and fun. You can have them fill in the blanks. For example, when writing the letter "b", list out words that start with that letter. Maybe even create a poem with all those words. Write out the poem but put a blank where all the "b" letters should be and let your child fill that out.
I am a __boy
Who like to play __all
I hit it with my __at
Then go home to __athe my cat

It doesn't have to make sense. It can even be silly. They probably like silly.

So, do your children like to write?

3 comments:

  1. My 6 years old daughter loves to write and draw. I have no problem with teaching her English, but now I am training her to write more CHinese because next year she is going to Primary 1 in a Chinese school. She is pretty English educated, so need to switch her to use more Mandarin from now onwards. Lol!

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  2. Rose:
    If she already loves to write, maybe writing chinese won't be too bad. Just keep it fun. Good luck next year when she goes to Primary 1.

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