I caught up with a dear friend last week. She’s a highly skilled, enthusiastic second grade teacher at a fine public elementary school. This teacher sparks creativity in her students. She wants them to learn. Her second graders role-play story characters from chapter books to learn inference, and work in groups to brainstorm storybook presentations.
And … these students write by hand every day.
In fact, when her principal offered iPads for the students, this teacher asked for chalkboards and chalk instead. “My students want to practice writing, not tapping,” she explained.
Terrific decision. Drawing and writing by hand are essential in early childhood. Handwriting engages a child’s brain in learning far beyond keyboarding. The finger movements required to form letters are critical for thinking, language, and working memory.
Writing begins in the home. Sit next to your child when she plays with large crayons and write along with her. Make it fun. Draw, scribble, and write together with lots of color and imagination.
- Stock tubs with a variety of paper, colored pencils, and washable markers
- Write with chalk on a chalkboard, and sidewalk chalk on concrete
- Use play dough to make letters, shapes, and funny animals
Writing matters. Be sure to include writing fun in your home and celebrate your child’s written creations.