Handwriting is an essential skill for both children and adults. Even in the age of technology, handwriting remains the primary tool of communication and knowledge assessment for students in the classroom. The demands for handwriting are great, whether in the classroom or beyond. A found that 85 percent of all fine motor time in second, a fourth and sixth standard classroom was spent on paper and pencil activities. A more recent study noted that kindergarten children are now spending 42 percent of their fine motor time on paper and pencil activities.
Research literature extensively documents the consequences of poor handwriting on early literacy and academic performance. Children who experience difficulty mastering this skill [handwriting] may avoid writing and decide that they cannot write, leading to arrested writing development. Handwriting is critical to the production of creative and well-written text affecting both fluency and the quality of the composition. Illegible handwriting also has secondary effects on school achievement and self-esteem.
Seeing the need for a more specific analysis of skills, Smart WRITE and a team of occupational therapists and educators has developed a set of comprehensive programs/courses for children and adults. We hope these will serve as an example to educators and curriculum decision-makers and bring increased attention to this crucial, yet often overlooked, area of education.