Week: Is That a Joke?
Jan. 23-29 is National Handwriting
Week every year, and no, that's not a joke. Though some people think penmanship
is an anachronism - hopelessly outdated in this era of technological
communication - handwriting is still of crucial importance, and serious
National Handwriting Week is timed
to go with the birthday of John Hancock, the famous signer of the Declaration
of Independence with the razzle-dazzle signature. A big handwriting curriculum
publisher, Zaner-Bloser, sponsors a national handwriting contest for kids, and
sends the teacher of the winner on a free trip for two to Boston, the home of
John Hancock. The student gets prizes worth $1,500 and the school gets a
special computer. So no, it's not a joke.
There has been a move afoot for
years in schools to get rid of handwriting instruction in the early grades and
substitute typing instruction, since the direction of schooling appears to be
toward laptops for all, and pencils for none. However, that would be stupid,
from what we know about the brainpower that handwriting builds.
According to national handwriting
experts, the brain learns to read by visually observing the "strokes" of the
letters - vertical, horizontal, bars, loops - so being able to produce those
strokes with your own hand is a great way to train your brain to recognize
Handwriting also trains the brain in
mental processes such as storage and retrieval (memorizing how each letter
looks and being able to produce the right one accurately and quickly),
manipulating letters, and making those crucial connections between the sounds
the letters make, and how they look in written text.
For more about handwriting, see
information about the contest:
Here's an interview with a
some fascinating content about the link between handwriting and personality:
By Susan Darst Williams • www.GoBigEd.com • Grammar Granny
043 • © 2007