Acquisition of the skill of handwriting is one of the critical skills a child masters in the foundation years of schooling. Yet as parents, it is often the skill that seems to get the least of our attention. We focus on the amazing miracle of mastering of reading, give so much time to the area of maths, and diligently practise those spelling words. And yet, despite the technological advances of the computer age, the ability to commit knowledge to paper remains the single biggest way in which our children are evaluated at school. Sadly, so often the first time we pay attention to it, is when a problem has developed. By that time bad patterns, which are difficult to remediate, have developed.
Research has conclusively shown that grapho-motor skills in preschool (pre-handwriting and early handwriting) have a definitive link to reading and maths abilities in Grade 2. Children who had better grapho-motor skills in their kindergarten year performed statistically significantly better in reading and maths when they were in Grade 2. With this knowledge in mind we cannot ignore how important fine motor and pre-handwriting skills are.
Many feel that we shouldn’t be paying all this attention to handwriting when we are living in the technological era. After all, won’t all our children be typing and using iPads for most of their school work? The reality in our country is that this won’t be the case, however, there is more to this than availability of resources. Research has shown that the specific finger movements associated with writing by hand activate the memory centres of the brain. When we write by hand, we are assisting with remembering information. These same centres are not activated when typing. So while the mastering of typing is a critical skill, handwriting should not, and must not, get forgotten.
In the middle school years, children who write by hand, write more, with better syntax and language use, than those who type.
The research is out there – our children need to write by hand! However, with the advent of early exposure to technology, there is a massive decline in fine motor skills and handwriting abilities and we need to very specifically address these areas.
The Happy Handwriter is your one stop handwriting solution that builds the foundations from the bottom up. The system is research based and is carefully graded to build from the early skills to the mastery of an automatic, legible and speed appropriate handwriting to accompany a child from their early schooling through to adulthood.
The Happy Handwriter is a complete multi-sensory graded system that addresses all the foundations for fine motor skills and handwriting. Both the fine motor foundations and letter formation skills are addressed. But not only are they addressed, each aspect is researched based and carefully graded to build on the next.