Happy National Handwriting Day!
In this age of phones and computers, it might seem old-fashioned to put pen to paper and actually write out a sentence or two.
But there are lots of benefits to writing by hand that we might not even be aware of! For example, did you know that some doctors believe the act of writing is a good exercise for keeping your mind active and sharp?
It’s true! When you write something down instead of typing it, you’re more likely to remember it. This may have something to do with the amount of time you spend with each letter—much more when you’re writing than when you’re typing. And you get more tactile sensations through the practice of writing—think about what it feels like to write out a letter as opposed to typing an email. You’ve got the vibration of your pen against the paper, the feel of the desk, the solidity of the writing instrument. There’s much more going on in your brain when you write than when you type.
Writing can also improve your creativity. Much like going for a walk or taking a bath when you’re stuck on what to say or do, switching to handwriting when you get stymied in a task can be freeing, and far more creative ideas flow from that pen or pencil!
However, even as we learn more about the benefits of handwriting, students are getting less and less handwriting instruction and practice in school. Many assignments originate from, are accomplished on, and are handed in using a tablet—stacks of paper is a thing of the past in most classrooms.
While this might improve efficiency and is certainly easier for bridging the gap between in-school and at-home learning, what are we losing by relying on technology for nearly all student work?
And we haven’t even touched on the subject of crusive! Many schools have eliminated cursive lessons in favor of adding more time for core subjects. However, one important reason to keep cursive alive is so that students of today can read the originals of important documents that were written in cursive, such as the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Sure, we can find digital translations on the internet, but being able to read and understand the originals is part of being a savvy consumer of media. How do you know if what you’re reading on the internet is a true representation of the historical document if you can’t compare ALL the versions?
So, on this National Handwriting Day, let’s take a moment to close our laptops and pick up our pens and do some scribbling. It’s good for us!
Who still uses pencil and paper while they work? Many engineers still sketch things out and write things down!