It is safe to say education has changed a lot in the last decade. Strenuous curriculum requirements and keyboarding instruction have pushed handwriting development to the side. While there is a need for students to learn keyboarding, the majority of their work from Kindergarten through the 5th grade is done by hand.
Studies show that fine motor skill mastery and handwriting abilities are early indicators of literacy success. By learning to write fluidly and legibly, students are able to communicate more effectively, create more complex and organized content, and recall information faster and more accurately.
Fine motor skill mastery is not limited to handwriting only. Young children learn the skills needed to color, zip, tie, button, and pinch with the same muscle groups that we write with.
This article explains in depth the importance of addressing pencil grip at an early age.
" Therapists have been focusing on using the correct pencil grip for some time now with patients who have special needs. “Pencil grip is very difficult to change after about age 6. It can be done, but it can be a struggle,” says Stephanie Capshaw, pediatric occupational therapist and professor in the Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Texas at El Paso. “It is very important to address pencil grip early, because if it is not corrected, it can later affect speed and legibility, as well as put undue stress on developing joints, which can later cause the development of arthritis.” "
Why Schools Should Keep Teaching Handwriting, Even If Typing Is More Useful
"IU psychology professor Karin James says that might be unwise. She conducted the research that found teaching young children to write letters activated parts of their young brains that become critical for reading."
Giving young students a tool to promote proper fine motor muscle memory development, is a sure start to a successful school career!