Thank you for teaching me to handwrite extremely good. I guess I was wrong! I guess I really am teachable!

THRIVE Student
June 2013

SOLID REASONS TO KEEP TEACHING HANDWRITING IN A HI-TECH WORLD

Written by THRIVE Program Teacher, Tyson Schoeber • Last Updated: 02-19-2017

Good typing skills are important but it's a mistake to believe that computers can solve all of the problems of children who struggle with written output. For the truth is that kids strongly benefit from being able to put their thoughts onto paper by hand quickly and easily.

There are still many times in life when writing by hand is the best approach and research demonstrates that the learning of kids who have difficulty with composition is often hampered poor handwriting. Therefore, we strongly believe that teachers should continue to try to help all kids develop a competent and comfortable written script — printing, handwriting or a comfortable blend of the two.




LEARNING HANDWRITING OFFERS A FRESH START

Students who've struggled with printing get a fresh start when they begin to learn handwriting. It is a chance to begin again and be successful.


HANDWRITING HAS FEWER EASILY REVERSED OR ROTATED LETTERS

The printed alphabet contains more letters that are easily confused than the handwritten alphabet.

For example, the printed shapes of b, d, p and q are very similar, apart from their direction on the page.

IT'S STILL WORTH KNOWING
HOW TO READ IT

Although handwriting is undoubtedly less common that it used to be, LOTS of people still use it. Working through our handwriting program helps to ensure that children can read it, too.

RESEARCH CONTINUES
TO SUPPORT IT

In dozens of studies, researchers have found that, done right, early handwriting instruction improves students' writing. Not just its legibility, but its quantity and quality.

Dr. Steve Graham, Vanderbilt University.
Feel free to read the whole article here.

A graphic produced by the New York Times that accompanied an article about the value of handwriting.
THERE'S A LINK BETWEEN WRITING BY HAND AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

A June 2014 article in the New York Times states: Psychologists and neuroscientists say it is far too soon to declare handwriting a relic of the past. New evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep.

Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it's not just what we write that matters — but how.

LEARNING HANDWRITING OFTEN HELPS IMPROVE A CHILD'S PRINTING, TOO

The work we do while teaching handwriting helps to improve a child's pencil grip, posture and comfort with writing. Those skills often translate into improved printing, too.

SPECIALISTS OFTEN RECOMMEND IT

Lots of the Occupational Therapy reports we've received over the years have recommended teaching cursive. In fact, the font we built our whole handwriting program upon was created by an Occupational Therapist!

FINE MOTOR SKILLS BENEFIT FROM IT, TOO

Another recent article explains how handwriting instruction helps develop hand–eye coordination and improves motor skills — skills that help people in many other areas of life. One of the researchers notes that "If these components are not practiced well enough, related motor skills can suffer."

NEATNESS & SPEED

Studies have shown that a student's marks are affected by the neatness of their writing (i.e. printing or cursive). Neater work tends to get better marks!

It's also a fact that some people develop handwriting that is both FASTER and NEATER than their printing. So we should at least give kids the chance to learn it and let them make up their own minds!

A photograph showing a student's left hand working on one of our colorful handwriting pages.
IT CAN
BE FUN
FOR KIDS

Our totally free handwriting pages and Drill Cards can help make learning handwriting fun.

HANDWRITING HELPS DYSGRAPHIC KIDS, TOO

A 2012 review suggests that cursive may be particularly effective for individuals with developmental dysgraphia — motor-control difficulties in forming letters — and that it may aid in preventing the reversal and inversion of letters.

What's Lost As Handwriting Fades? by Maria Konnikova in The New York Times (Online Edition) • June 3rd, 2014

WHAT ABOUT REMEDIATION?

An October 2015 essay in the Globe and Mail notes that Accommodations can sometimes be at the expense of trying to remediate the weak areas of the brain. What people don't realize is that the handwriting of words actually faciliatates the children's ability to connect sounds with letters, a major concept in reading disabilities.

Dyslexia: An Alphabet Soup of Remedies from The Globe and Mail (Online Edition) • October 24, 2015 • Download PDF