Handwriting Has Extra Benefits for Kids

Lots of schools don't teach cursive handwriting to kids anymore, but new research shows writing by hand can help a child's development in more ways than one.

Several studies show that both children and adults learn more and remember better when they write by hand. The study comes as more and more schools go digital, with teachers focused on typing skills, not penmanship.

Professor Audrey van der Meer at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology says people just remember better if they write out their shopping list or take lecture notes by hand.

Tests measuring brain activity found that minds were much more active in both young adults and children when writing by hand than when typing.

"Learning to write by hand is a bit slower process, but it's important for children to go through the tiring phase of learning to write by hand. The intricate hand movements and the shaping of letters are beneficial in several ways. If you use a keyboard, you use the same movement for each letter. Writing by hand requires control of your fine motor skills and senses. It's important to put the brain in a learning state as often as possible. I would use a keyboard to write an essay, but I'd take notes by hand during a lecture," says Van der Meer.

A survey of 19 countries in the EU shows that Norwegian children and teens spend the most time online. The smartphone is a constant companion, followed closely by PCs and tablets.

The survey shows that Norwegian children ages 9 to16 spend almost four hours online every day, double the amount since 2010.

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