The earlier children master handwriting skills, the better they will do academically. Despite that fact, however, more and more schools find it difficult to ensure that there is adequate time for handwriting instruction. In fact, 85 percent of teachers do not learn how to teach handwriting. So, it may not be a surprise to learn that 10-30 percent of elementary school students struggle with handwriting.
Researchers have proven, however, that structured handwriting instruction leads to improved academic success and overall student self-esteem. For example, learning handwriting has a greater impact on brain development, especially the areas of the brain related to literacy development. Even in higher grades, studies have shown that students who took notes by hand rather than on a computer were shown to have better comprehension of what was being said and had more sustained attention during discussion of texts and concepts.
On the other hand, illegible handwriting affects students’ self-esteem, and research shows that difficulties with handwriting can negatively impact others’ evaluations of a student’s text – poor handwriting can drop a paper from the 50th percentile in quality to 10th to 22nd percentile.
Because handwriting is so critically important as a foundational aspect of language and literacy, Dr. Denise Donica, OT, and Dr. Peter Giroux, OT, have shared the top questions they get from teachers about handwriting instruction in on-demand webinar, Top 10 Questions About Handwriting.
Here are the first five:
- How does handwriting instruction support writing and other language standards?
- Why is handwriting still important?
- What is multisensory instruction?
- Should handwriting be taught in alphabetical order?
- What are the benefits of teaching capital letters first?
To learn more about how and why handwriting can help students and to hear the rest of the Top 10 Questions About Handwriting from Drs. Donica and Giroux, register for their on-demand webinar here.