Keyboarding or Writing - Which Skill to Teach?
Feb. 8, 2015
we are happy that Hurricane Sandy is behind and we have power and Internet back. We are resuming our regular blog posts, and today's post is dedicated to the importance of writing.
Kid's Academy Team
In the era of smart devices and digital communication we spend most of our days with laptops, tablets, and smart phones. We communicate mostly via e-mail or texting, which requires keyboarding skills. However, we can easily live through the day without writing a single word with a pen. Does this mean that we should dump writing as a useless activity and teach our kids to type?
We’d rather not! For some very simple reasons.
Writing activates brain. Have you noticed that when kids are doing something with their hands they stop talking? It is because there are a lot of processes going on in their brain. Writing is an activity that requires both holding a writing instrument and concentrating on a task.
When kids grip a pen, a pencil, or a crayon, their sense of touch is activated through a huge amount of nerve endings placed on finger tips. Through the touch they explore the world around them. Holding a writing instrument also requires developed fine motor skills and hones them at the same time.
Writing and tracing activities involve a lot of brain power. These tasks are highly challenging for kids who have just got used to gripping something. When tracing a letter, for example, they need to stabilize their hand, to make lines straight or curved, to copy the example, and finally to compare the two things. Writing additionally calls kinesthetic and visual memory to action.
The significance of writing activity is undeniable. It is also important to teach kids these skills at an early stage of their development. According to neuropsychologists, the first 6 years of their development are a particular rapid time of learning. Neural plasticity is at its highest during these early years, and what kids see, hear, feel and experience literally shape the structure of their brain. We’d better teach them something useful while they are still young!