Should you consider the help of a handwriting tutor for your child?
At a time when technology is a part of everyday life, computers and other electronic devices have become important learning tools. Students today spend more time online and in front of screens, whether to attend classes or conduct research for their schoolwork. Most school papers and homework are also done and submitted electronically, which makes keyboarding instruction for elementary school students necessary. But as much as it’s hard to imagine learning without the help of technology, doing away with handwriting lessons in favor of keyboarding instruction can negatively impact literacy development in young students.
According to research, proper reading development is strongly linked to letter-naming and letter-writing. This is because the hand and the neural circuitry of the brain are inextricably linked. When students master writing letters and grasp the features of each, they also learn to recognize them more accurately. This letter identification leads to increased writing fluency, which then improves their reading skills.
Why is teaching handwriting important?
Aside from its practical use in our daily lives—writing grocery lists, greeting cards, and filling out forms—being able to write clearly and legibly is an important aspect of language, literacy, and even mathematics.
While a significant portion of schoolwork is now done online or electronically, written exams still make up a significant chunk of tests and evaluations across various subjects. When a student is able to write comfortably, legibly, and at a reasonable pace, he or she can organize his or her thoughts better and produce more meaningful content.
Furthermore, the handwriting process has been shown to positively impact one’s concentration and engagement. Other benefits of handwriting include:
- Improved memory – Studies show that students learn and retain information better when handwriting ideas instead of typing.
- Letter mastery – Handwriting allows students to physically interact with letters, which helps them remember letters and its associated sounds better. Handwriting is both a tactile and a visual experience, which is key in young learners’ literacy acquisition.
- Fully formed thoughts – Speed is key when typing, whereas handwriting is a slower, more intimate process. Handwriting allows us to slow down, breathe, and form our thoughts fully before putting them into paper.
- Improves focus – Effortless and legible writing frees you from worrying about whether your work can be understood by your readers. Hence, you are able to concentrate more on accomplishing your writing task.
- Highlights one’s uniqueness – Your handwriting is unique to you, and some say that you can tell a lot about a person just by looking at their handwriting. Being able to write legibly is equivalent to making a clear statement with your own unique voice.
What Are the Benefits of Learning Cursive Writing?
First-grade students were typically taught manuscript or print writing in the past, while cursive writing was commonly introduced in the third grade. It was often argued that cursive writing is superior to print, especially for children with difficulties such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. It results in fewer letter reversals and better spelling because words are visualized as one unit as opposed to being separated by different strokes.
On the other hand, experts have also pointed out the importance of having children focus on the writing form used in their reading materials, which is print. But whether or not one form is easier to learn than the other, what is more important is that students become adept at using one way of writing to produce clear and legible writing with minimal or reasonable effort. Hence, instruction should focus on the form that is most likely to produce this result, particularly for older children who struggle with handwriting.
As far as cursive writing is concerned, instructors often stress its importance because of its many advantages over print. It is a more natural way of writing; cursive writing is not often interrupted by stops or by lifting the pencil.
Other advantages of writing in cursive include:
- Enhances neural connections – Cursive writing engages both the right and left hemisphere of the brain.
- Improves reading ability – Children who can read and write in cursive can also read print or manuscript, but the reverse is not true.
- Better fine motor abilities – Cursive writing helps the student practice fine motor skills as he or she learns to produce smooth strokes.
Looking for handwriting tutors? Contact us!
How Can Manhattan Letters Help?
Our handwriting tutors specialize in individualized handwriting tutoring for elementary school students. Our handwriting instruction is tailored to meet the needs of your child and addresses key areas that need extra reinforcement. Our handwriting tutors utilize the Handwriting Without Tears® curriculum, which uses multisensory strategies to teach handwriting to students in Pre-K onwards.
Manhattan Letters’ highly qualified handwriting tutors are experts in their respective fields and have completed comprehensive training and certifications. Our professional handwriting tutors can help your child with:
- Correcting letter and number reversals
- Proper pencil grip
- Manuscript/print control
- Letter and number size
- Letter and number formation
- Writing posture
- Letter and word spacing
- Cursive and manuscript writing
What Will Students Learn?
Letter and number recognition, correct pencil grip, pre-writing strokes, distinguishing between left and right, sketching.
- Grades K-2
Letter recognition and usage, letter and number formation, word spacing, pencil grip, writing on a page.
- Grades 3+
Letter formation, size, and placement; cursive letters and connections; distance between phrases and words; pencil grip and handling.
Some studies show that children who learn to write by hand also learn to read faster and tend to be more creative. Hence, the earlier children receive handwriting instruction, the more likely they’re going to excel in all subject areas at school. Our handwriting tutors use fun, engaging, and progressive techniques in teaching young students to write by hand. Whether you prefer in-person or online tutoring, our one-on-one handwriting tutor and literacy specialist can help your child develop and master their handwriting skills.