Putting good old pen to paper boasts an array of cognitive and learning benefits for children. Image Credit: Unsplash

With distance learning introduced to children’s lives as a direct result of the global pandemic, and with more technology and online applications available than ever before, there’s no surprise that the traditional act of handwriting is being left behind.

Joe Creal

Putting good old pen to paper boasts an array of cognitive and learning benefits for children and in this digital age, there’s never been a more important time to make sure that children are still making time for physical handwriting.

At the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, we are trying to incorporate traditional school practices such as handwriting into everyday school life because the proven benefits are incomparable. We understand the importance of technology within the classroom and use it frequently, however, we are trying to blend the two worlds of technology and tradition together for the most productive learning outcome. We see technology as a function that supports students on their journey and handwriting a skill that consolidates the foundations of their learning. With this in mind, here are the top five reasons to encourage your child to put down their device and put pen to paper.

1. Handwriting improves memory function

It is proven that the brain engages differently and retains information better when we write by hand instead of typing on a keyboard or using a device. Studies show that handwriting improves memory and the brain’s ability to take in new ideas and thoughts when handwriting instead of typing.

2. Handwriting is linked to all aspects of learning and brain development

Handwriting is credited as the basis of all learning - meaning all aspects of your child’s learning and brain development is rooted to handwriting. Handwriting helps improves attention span, the ability to spell, speaking development, reading, attention to detail, and so much more.

3. Handwriting helps to organise thoughts

Handwriting helps children really think about what they are doing and creates space for thoughts to fully form before being put down in sentences. In the busy online world which we now live in where everything is quick and instant, handwriting helps children slow down and fully engage with their thoughts, which is both a calming exercise and great for brain development.

4. Handwriting is thoughtful and meaningful

A handwritten note is a great way for our children to show their personality and thoughtfulness, which is simply not possible to do through technology. Encouraging children to handwrite cards and notes is great for their emotional development and also helps them to understand the positive effects that come from putting time, effort, and love into a task.

5. Handwriting forms part of our culture

Handwriting is unique to each and every one of us and the fact that this can’t be replaced with a keyboard or technology makes it a special art form. Handwriting forms a unique and irreplaceable part of culture that is important for our children to learn about and be a part of.

- The writer is the Assistant Head, Upper Key Stage 2 at The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai.