Hand to Brain: Why Writing Matters in the Digital Age

Fluid writing linked to fluid thinking
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2007 8:02 PM CST
Fluid handwriting may be linked to fluent writing, according to a new study by Vanderbilt professor Steve Graham.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Handwriting seems like a vestigial skill now that 3-year-olds are using computers, but it may still benefit children in more ways than helping them slog through parent-mandated thank-you notes, Newsweek says. Penmanship may be closely connected with the learning process, and a new study by a Vanderbilt prof indicates that students who are more adept at putting words to paper also perform better on assignments.

Don't let your doctor's prescription pad alarm you, though—the ability to write quickly and fluently is more important than neatness, as kids who need to focus on forming their letters have less brainpower available for thinking about what they want to say. Unfortunately, schools are spending less and less time on handwriting instruction, with third-graders averaging just 10 minutes a day.