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National Handwriting Week Celebrates Building Better Brains

In the digital age, handwritten words are becoming a thing of the past. But is that a good thing? In honor of National Handwriting Week, which begins January 22, we wanted to take a look at what some experts have to say on the subject of handwriting. Let’s explore.

In most states, educators begin to shift away from handwriting by about second grade. That’s when typing on keyboards starts to play a bigger part. But many researchers say that might not be the best strategy.

Writing words and letters by hand, whether in print or cursive, develops parts of the brain that typing doesn’t, some researchers say. Children who practice handwriting generate words and ideas faster, and they boost their reading speed. They also tend to have a better grasp of study material, and they hold on to the information for longer.

And researchers believe that out of the two modes of handwriting, cursive provides the most benefit. Dismissed as outdated, it’s no longer taught in most schools. But experts say cursive does wonders to integrate the visual brain with fine motor skills. Cursive’s irregularity, too, helps the brain create a broad repertoire of letter recognition. And writing in cursive causes the left and right halves of the brain to work more in tandem, building improved neural pathways. And it also helps students develop a sense of personal style and ownership.

It would seem, even in our modern times, there’s still a place for the fine art of handwriting. If you haven’t written anything by hand in a while, take some time this week to reconnect with the skill, even if it’s just refining your signature. It’s supposed to be good for adults, too.

Or encourage a child to hand write a letter or book report, or introduce that child to the world of cursive. He or she will thank you one day.

From all of us here at Infinite Energy, happy National Handwriting Week.

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