Handwriting is still an important skill

Question: Has the importance of legible handwriting diminished since keyboarding has become so popular? Are there any real benefits to having good handwriting? I have always had what others consider to be very attractive writing. What will happen in the future? Will no one write by hand?

For Legibility

Answer: There are certainly many who think that the computer and other electronic devices are all that is needed for communication. You can find people who haven’t written a word beyond signing their names on documents in recent years.

Even the Common Core State Standards have abandoned handwriting, as there is no mention of handwriting, whether it is cursive or manuscript printing. Some states, however, have recently added the requirement of teaching handwriting skills.

If we can communicate so effectively using electronic devices, what is the benefit of handwriting in today’s world? Recent research has begun to show that handwriting actually plays a role in young children learning to read. As children practice handwriting, they are developing a kinesthetic memory that aids in the recognition of words.

There should be no argument about the benefits of legible handwriting. When adults write, legible handwriting is an asset. And in school it has been shown in study after study that legible handwriting plays an extremely important role in the grades students earn on essays. Plus, teachers are very unhappy when they have to spend so much extra time trying to decipher what their students are trying to say.

Send questions and comments to Dear Teacher, 1 N. Illinois St., No. 2004, Indianapolis, IN 46204, log on to www.dearteacher.com or email dearteacher@dearteacher.com.