writing journal on small notebook

Living in the Digital Age: Does Handwriting Still Matter?

People were fascinated with Meghan Markle’s exquisite handwriting when they saw a photo of a handwritten letter from the Duchess of Sussex online. Her followers are aware of her talent for calligraphy, but it’s fascinating how she has maintained her beautiful penmanship amid the rise of digital technology.

Written communication today is often done digitally. You wouldn’t need a pen or paper because you can now type your message on a keyboard or a screen. In some cases, you would feel different when you start writing long sentences using a pen. Children are also more exposed to typing and swiping than handwriting.

Since the use of digital devices is widespread, is handwriting still an important skill to learn or improve?

Handwriting Skills Remain Relevant

The growing popularity of digital devices put handwriting at risk of extinction. Some scholars say teaching handwriting skills, including printing and cursive, is irrelevant because of technology.

A report by the Iowa Reading Research Center, however, explains handwriting skills help children learn the letters of the alphabet effectively because it allows them to understand their structure, like their shapes and spatial orientation.

Researchers explain the sensorimotor representations are related to the visual representation of the letter. Fine motor skills needed to produce written letters are thought to contribute to early reading achievement. This applies to children and adults who lost their ability to read due to a brain injury.

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) explains children who write quickly and legibly are likely express their thoughts more effectively.

So how can you improve your and your kids’ handwriting?

Improving Your Handwriting Skills

handwriting

It takes time to improve one’s handwriting. Answering gamebooks, like Sudoku or crossword puzzles, in your free time may help you practice writing numbers and letters. You can also download worksheets online that you and your kids can work on together.

Here are other ways to help improve your children’s writing:

  • Set the process with a positive attitude – your children may be too young to understand why you want them to improve their handwriting. Instead of pressuring them to change how they write, explain to them why it’s important to make their penmanship legible.
  • Check how your children hold their pen or pencil – teach them how to grip their pencil properly so they can write better. If your child struggles with grip, try another pencil with a different size or shape.
  • Make every practice fun – doing the same thing repeatedly can bore your children over time. Try different approaches to keep them interested. For example, ask them to copy their favorite line from a book or a movie. You can also use colored and scented pens, which may persuade older children better.

Although digital devices are efficient in delivering messages or writing notes, learning how to write by hand properly is still an essential skill to learn, both for children and adults. Make it a habit to write anything on a piece of paper and set an example for your children.