Computers offer many advantages. They provide a wealth of information and they keep people connected around the globe. However, despite these benefits, there are certain disadvantages that exist in the computer age. Typing has all but replaced handwriting, which can be detrimental for children.
Benefits of Handwriting
Handwriting provides many cognitive benefits, and in the digital era, many children are missing out on these benefits. These benefits include:
- Fine motor skill development, or the development of the small muscles of the hand. Fine motor skills are needed for a variety of daily tasks, including tying, buttoning, zippering, etc.
- Visual perception development, which is a skill that is used to tell the difference between numbers, letters, and words that are similar in appearance. This skill also allows children to properly space letters and numbers, and identify when letters and numbers have been completely and properly formed.
- Language development and comprehension. Early handwriting contributes to positive reading comprehension.
Handwriting allows children to develop clear and thorough thought patterns in a natural structure; skills that are extremely important for children to not only develop, but master.
The Importance of Teaching Handwriting in the Classroom, and Beyond
When handwriting is legible, it allows children to successfully approach the higher-level factors of writing, including writing compositions and content. Handwriting also allows children to complete written exams, which are important tools for assessing what skills subject matter children have gained.
Handwriting is not only important in education; it is important in everyday life. Most forms of employment require handwriting to some extent. Handwriting can be used to communicate with other people. Even something as simple as jotting down a grocery list, or composing a note to excuse a child’s absence from school, requires handwriting.
Given how important handwriting is in daily life, it is still vital for children to be taught how to master this skill in the computer age. If your child is having handwriting difficulties, a pediatric occupational therapist can help.