Reading is just one component of literacy. In tandem with learning to how to read, children must also learn handwriting in order to become literate and successful communicators. Handwriting, like learning to read, is a foundation skill of literacy.
In fact, research studies show the positive impact of handwriting on the developing brain. MRI scans at Indiana University (done before and after letter instruction) found that when children practiced by hand, their neural activity was far more enhanced and adult-like than those who had simply looked at their letters. This shows that hands-on, active writing is an integral part of literacy and that children can only retain so much information by passively watching.
Several research studies have found that handwriting is essential in higher grades, too. Students who took notes by hand versus on a computer were shown to have better comprehension of what was being said, and had more sustained attention during discussion of text and concepts (Mueller 2014, Peverly 2012).
This shows that hands-on letter formation is crucial in building literacy and reading comprehension. When children are taught to write fluently and automatically, they are able to focus more on reading comprehension instead of the mechanics of letter formation. Developing this type of automaticity promotes literacy and writing success. Read more in our Handwriting Research Review.
Get your learners to roll up their sleeves and develop the hands-on skills they need in order to become good readers and writers. Try our A-B-C Touch & Flip Cards for a tactile approach to learning letter formation. These cards provide raised letters for children to finger trace, which promotes active, multisensory literacy skill building.