When guiding children’s letter formation, practice, consistency and legibility are the goals. Do children make the same letters the same way each time? (Einhorn, K., “Handwriting Success for All”, Instructor, January 2001).
Classroom teachers may not be aware of the long-term benefits of careful consistent teaching of handwriting. The curricula in our schools are so packed with requirements that it is often difficult to include the basics. Although the time required for teaching handwriting is not so great, it has to be incorporated regularly into a class schedule. Novice teachers, if they teach the mechanics of writing at all, are often thrown upon the resource of using publishers’ copybooks. They expect children to copy, self-teach, and internalize the material. And yet, without direct teaching, the attempt to learn writing often ends in disaster (Sheffield, B.).
There can be agreement that handwriting needs to be taught appropriately and consistently from an early age. It can be enhanced through developing specific perceptual and motor skills appropriate to the requirements of handwriting (Addy, Lois M., “A Perceptual-Motor Approach to Handwriting”, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, (59), 1996).
Time for direct teaching of handwriting needs to be built into busy school schedules. Too many students are kept from a successful school experience by inadequate handwriting . . . the choice of form and type of letters is not as important as consistency and careful direct teaching. Consistency within a classroom and in a school system is essential (Sheffield, B.).
Representative research supporting the importance of teaching handwriting to insure academic success
Handwriting is an important functional task used frequently in every grade beginning in kindergarten. Children are expected to gain skill gradually in handwriting legibility as formal instruction is introduced in the kindergarten and first-grade curriculum (Marr, D., & Cermak, S. Consistency of handwriting in early elementary students. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, (57), 2002).
According to Steve Graham, professor of education at the University of Maryland College Park, “. . . the researchers found the pupils given handwriting lessons produced grammatical sentences much more fluidly than their counterparts in the control group. . . . (A) growing number of studies suggest that handwriting may play a bigger role in the writing process than is
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