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Write-On Handwriting Research Base

The Write-On Handwriting products are developmentally sound — supported by research as well as years of experience teaching individuals and groups. Since handwriting is a complex skill, it was essential to incorporate well-recognized developmental components into the handwriting instruction plan. Write-On Handwriting incorporates two key developmental skills: the graphomotor function (sequencing pencil movements) and the retrieval memory function.

Applicable research providing the basis for the methodology developed by Write-On Handwriting follows. In addition, foundational research is outlined that supports the importance of teaching handwriting to insure future academic success.

Representative research supporting the Write-On Handwriting Methodology

In clinics and schools, children frequently struggle with motor memory. For them, the retrieval of motor patterns is a slow, strenuous, and sometimes futile exercise. Writing can be thought of as a rotating drum connected to memory: it is a tracing, an indelible record of what is recalled and then transmitted through the writing implement. Children with motor memory deficits have characteristic handwriting, marred by frequent hesitation, retracing and illegibility. Memory disorders of this type, in fact, may be the most common cause of poor handwriting (Levine, Mel Dr., “Developmental Variation and Learning Disorders”, 1999).

It is argued here that automatic legible writing is an essential basis for written expression. And yet, crowded school curricula and neglect by educational institutions and researchers often leave no room for appropriate and sufficient attention to teaching this critical skill. . . . There are at least three reasons handwriting must be carefully taught to all children. First, handwriting allows access to kinesthetic memory — our earliest, strongest and most reliable memory channel. Second, serviceable handwriting needs to be at a spontaneous level so that a student is free to concentrate on spelling, and to focus on higher-level thought and written expression. Third, teachers judge and grade students based on the appearance of their work (Sheffield, B., “Handwriting: A Neglected Cornerstone of Literacy”, Annals of Dyslexia, (46), 1996).

Direct kinesthetic steps to teaching handwriting leaves nothing to chance in developing writing skill to its highest level. . . . Essentially all children learn to write more expeditiously using kinesthetic techniques (Benbow, Mary, “The Way to Go! Kinesthetic Approach to Handwriting”, 1990).

© 2005 Write-On Handwriting, LLC www writeonhandwriting com

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