A while ago I mentioned in a post how studies had shown that writing by hand helps keep your mind. Last Sunday, Parade Magazine published a short article in their Stay Healthy column about this very idea.
Except it's not just an idea. A psychologist, Karin James, Ph.D., shared results of studies she and her colleagues had performed. They found that five year old children practicing writing letters by hand used regions of the brain involved in mastering reading skills. Children typing the letters they were learning didn't not fire up that section of the brain. College students who take notes by hand answered conceptual questions better than students who typed their notes. Study after study shows that we process what we write by hand better than what we type.
I bring this up again because of another item mentioned in the article. The Common Core State Standards that are supposed to guide education curricula only require schools to teach writing in kindergarten and first grade. Schools are then directed to concentrate on typing. Since many students come to their first day of school without being able to even write their own names, its seems a little more time is needed to work on this skills. According to James, "in children, writing by hand helps improve letter recognition which is the strongest predictor of reading success." Follow this link to find lots more facts about handwriting and its connections to reading and learning. If you have young children, you really should read this.
I don't usually get involved in political things, but I think many people, including me, have no idea of the nitty-gritty details of Common Core. I won't share any more of my opinions on it but the facts back up that we all should do some of our writing by hand.
I do my book outlines by hand and often write scenes when I'm editing. I write out post outlines for my blogs and of course, endless lists of things to do. As I mentioned last week, I write twitter posts on a tablet and then use them during the next week. Usually I do that while watching the news or a TV show. When I'm preparing a blurb or logline, I write many versions of each by hand.
Do you write a lot of things by hand? Do you remember those penmanship lessons in grade school? Do you agree with the importance of learning handwriting for children?