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Handwriting and Literacy Development

How Handwriting and Literacy Skills Go Hand-in-Hand

August 10, 2022

by: Ramon Torres

3 mins


When students learn to write by hand, there's a lot more going on in their heads than memorizing letter formations. In fact, handwriting and other aspects of writing are closely linked and can influence students' reading, writing, language use, and critical thinking. 

If a student has poor handwriting, it can lead to spelling and letter formation difficulties, making it hard for students to read and write fluently. In addition, issues with handwriting can affect a student’s confidence in communicating, thus leading to deeper problems in the future. As a result, it’s crucial to nurture proper handwriting early on to maximize a student’s communication abilities.  

By helping you understand the effects of handwriting on literacy, Learning Without Tears is here to transform your students as they grow and become fluent readers and writers. 

Affects All Levels of Learning 

Handwriting is a fundamental skill that builds a strong foundation for academic success. From handwriting, students practice the alphabetic principle that scaffolds into a lifetime of literacy knowledge. From letter formation to phonemic awareness, proper handwriting is the first step to greatness. A student who excels in handwriting is a student who excels for a lifetime. By honing handwriting skills early on, your students are building a skillset that will help them for the rest of their academic journeys.  

Enhances Neural Activity 

Brain research published in 2020 showed that writing by hand allows children to learn more and recall written material more clearly. Students who actively and consistently practice handwriting are building vital connections in their brains that will be key to their academic success. It makes sense, right? When students focus their energy on building connections between sounds and letters, it helps them strengthen their understanding of language and communication. 

Improves Comprehension 

Practice always makes perfect. With handwriting, practice helps build comprehension of language and meaning. Beyond letter formation, handwriting helps students make sense of what they’re reading and writing. 

Creates Confident Communicators 

Consistent practice with handwriting makes for a stronger student. As they ascend through the grade levels, students are more likely to encounter rigorous writing assessments. But for students who have solidified a strong foundation with handwriting, success is always within reach, even as they move beyond the classroom. 

Handwriting can often be overlooked as an area of learning that comes without explicit, direct instruction. But without the right support system, bad habits can set in, and true writing proficiency may be delayed or never truly form. We believe that all students deserve the right to read and write with confidence.  

As your partners in literacy success, we offer proven solutions. Handwriting Without Tears meets ESSA's Tier 2 Evidence Criteria, helping you make a difference for your students. View our comprehensive research review of Handwriting Without Tears and learn why it is the most effective program for teaching K–5 students strong writing skills that last a lifetime.

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