Handwriting and the Future of Our Children
In a Two-Fingered Texting World, YesPhonics™ Launches a Guaranteed Way to Teach Manuscript Handwriting
With the rise of keyboarding and two-finger texting, the manuscript style of handwriting is becoming a vital educational skill losing out to technology. Which is bad, because, according to Zaner-Bloser, a subsidiary of the Highlights Company, “Viewed from the perspective of reading development, teaching children to write the manuscript alphabet is an essential way to nurture literacy.”
Who Will Teach Our Children to Write?
Worse yet, the vast majority of our elementary school teachers don’t consider themselves prepared to teach handwriting effectively, according to Education World. The result has been a steady decline in students’ ability to write competently and legibly. Who, then, will teach manuscript writing to our children?
YesPhonics™ President, and the first student of the 4-Point Circle System, Cheyenne Joseph Adamson knows firsthand the importance of teaching manuscript writing. “Proper handwriting is your entry ticket to success in life, and your personal signature of self esteem.” [Click to Tweet]
Marilyn Jager Adams, in her book, Beginning to Read: Learning to Think and Learning about Print, presents the “wealth of evidence that the speed and accuracy with which young readers can recognize individual letters is a critical determinant of their reading proficiency and future growth.”
As concluded by Zaner- Bloser, writing “also helps children begin to express themselves, which increases their interest in reading the writing of others.” Further to the importance of learning manuscript writing, Zaner- Bloser states, “At the same time, learning to write offers many opportunities for children to become actively involved in meaningful ways with print. Along with reading stories aloud and answering a child’s questions about the print, teaching a child to write is a natural path to literacy.
Repeated research has shown that even when teachers are told not to take off points for bad handwriting, poor handwriting results in lower grades — as much as a full letter grade lower — for similar or identical work, according to Kate Gladstone, handwriting repairwoman and national director of the World Handwriting Contest.
The Impact of Poor Handwriting
Good handwriting affects more than just classroom performance. Gladstone’s research shows that poor handwriting is responsible for medical errors (affecting 1 in 10 Americans), undeliverable tax returns ($95 million), as well as workplace inefficiencies costing $200 million in lost time and money.
A comprehensive solution to teaching manuscript handwriting – as well as teaching reading and spelling – such as the YesPhonics Express program, can be a boon to overworked and underpaid teachers in today’s educational system. Gladstone estimates that classroom handwriting instruction averages around 5-10 minutes a week with almost no instruction at all provided beyond third grade. (Source: Education World)
According to Steve Graham, professor of special education at the University of Maryland, about three-quarters of the elementary school teachers he surveyed believed they weren’t adequately prepared to teach handwriting. (Source: Education World)
Unfortunately, textbooks and other teaching tools don’t always give teachers an effective method to teach manuscript handwriting. “Computers are taking over as the main form of transmission of the English language,” says YesPhonics’ Adamson. “While good, both of these methods should be taught together, as they can and should co-exist.”
The Usual Suspects
The whole-language approach to teaching – as opposed to the phonics method for teaching reading, writing and spelling – is responsible at least in part for a ten-year decline in penmanship, according to Suzanne Swadener, occupational therapist and presenter for Handwriting Without Tears.
Now that we see the importance of this skill on path to literacy and self-expression, let’s learn how to teach manuscript writing – to anyone who can draw a circle and a straight line!
Access our 4 Point Circle System, here, for FREE, and start teaching manuscript writing to your child or student, today.
- • Teaching Handwriting, Education World
- • Beginning to Read: Learning to Think and Learning about Print, Marilyn Jager Adams
- • “How Learning to Write the Manuscript Alphabet Supports Reading Development,” Zaner-Bloser
- • World Handwriting Contest, Kate Gladstone
- • Handwriting Without Tears, Suzanne Swadener
- • Free 9-part reading, writing and spelling lessons from YesPhonics™