Kids and handwriting

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PHOENIX - When was the last time you saw anyone under the age of 25 write anything by hand? I can't remember the last time I saw someone in my house using anything but a keyboard.  Between texting and computer use, writing by hand is becoming as rare as communicating face to face.

--Why not writing by hand is hurting our kids--

It all has to do with brain development, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. Most kids spend an hour or less per week on penmanship in school. There are many studies that indicate writing by hand is critically important for brain development and cognition. It also helps them learn to generate ideas and then express them.

--Handwriting can produce ideas faster--

One study of grade school-aged children found kids write faster by hand than on a keyboard. The study also showed more imagination in their work. Apparently, writing in longhand activates regions in the brain involved with thought, language and short-term memory.

 --In handwriting, perception is reality--

Say two students, one with good penmanship and the other with nearly illegible handwriting, each hand in an essay. Both have equally good content. Guess which one gets the better grade?  For better or worse, people can judge the quality of your work based on the writing. 

--Keyboards are here to stay--

New technology may be part of the solution to the lack of handwriting going on. For instance, there's an app for iPhone and iPad called "abc PocketPhonics" that rewards kids with "cheering pencils."  The bottom line is, it's worth it to encourage your kids (hopefully in a fun way) to work on their longhand.