In this age of computers and spell correct, I still think it’s important for children to be taught handwriting. At the same time, I don’t think it should be a daily “hair pulling” event either. I am very pleased I finally found an easy to use program like Handwriting Without Tears; if your looking for a good handwriting curriculum read my full review.
Is teaching Handwriting still necessary?
1. Handwriting can be effectively taught in only a few minutes each day.
You only need spend 10-15 minutes a day, more than that is time consuming and overkill. Keep it simple.
2. Correct letter formation is essential for writing with ease and more proficiently.
Children will be able to complete assignments with ease if they have the writing skills to do so.
3. As a homeschooler, the method of teaching won’t keep changing.
In schools, one of the issues is changing methods. Various teachers over the years and parents also teaching kids can create a variety of methods being taught. As a homeschooler you have much more control over YOUR method which provides consistency.
4. Handwriting skills are a necessary tool for communicating.
You wouldn’t ask your child to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without a knife right? Then it really isn’t fair to ask them to write a book report with out the speed and ease with writing that handwriting skills will deliver over time.
5. Poor handwriting can stifle the development of writing skills.
If your child feels they have poor handwriting it may limit a desire to write, therefore stifling the budding writer in them. Does it need to be perfect? No, just functional enough to help them get the job done!
6. Not everything is communicated digitally.
Certainly more is done digitally now than ever before! But many things are still handwritten. And though many schools have done away with teaching cursive all together, cursive is still used on billboards, name tags, letters, and even computer fonts. So if you can’t write it you can’t read it. Perhaps someday it will be dead forever, but for now I feel good about continuing to teaching it.
7. The majority of the daily school work children do is still handwritten.
Yes, more reports are being done on computers both in schools and in homeschools. But the vast majority of assignments to be completed are still handwritten. So it’s very important that all children learn to print effectively enough to write well and complete other learning exercises.
8. Underdeveloped handwriting skills can slow academic progress in other subjects.
Handwriting is a basic academic skill that children will build on and utilize in all areas of learning.
|A page from my oldest son’s fifth grade nature journal.|
9. Handwriting is an Art!
In this fast paced society there is still value in doing something with excellence. Skills that take time to develop are still of value. Some would say to Nature Journal is also a waste of time. Writing, and handwriting in cursive particularly, is a form of art. I wonder what other skills we are loosing because of our dependance on electronics?
10. Handwriting aids in small muscle development and coordination.
Writing is part of small muscle coordination skills. Regular practice certainly helps in developing this, though children abilities and timing will differ. They all will develop at different times and rates and the teacher/parent should know her students’ ability and apply appropriate instruction.