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Handwriting still essential for the cyber-powered brain

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In a recent Star Tribune article, the case for teaching handwriting resurfaces as research shows that the act of handwriting activates a unique neuro-circuit that makes it possible for the brain to learn to read faster and to be creative and retain information.

Bonnie Terry is a learning specialist in Granite Bay who is intimately familiar with how the brain functions in order to accomplish academic skills. According to Terry, writing is the doing part of thinking, and handwriting is important. “Kids need to experience handwriting,” she said. “Each letter in the alphabet is a different sensation important to developing the brain.”

Tips to encourage kids to do more handwriting over the summer

  • Terry recommends that parents take the summer as an opportunity to conduct hand writing activities by encouraging your child to write reviews of movies and video games. “Get your kids talking about and writing about their favorite characters,” she said. “Have them do story boards where they draw pictures and write brief summaries of the main events in the story.”
  • Create a summer event journal with pictures and drawings of the various experiences and activities.
  • Schedule field trips that can be documented in the summer journal.
  • Have your children identify some of their feelings about the summer events and write about them. Ask them to think about the most happy and sad moments and explain why.
  • Clear a wall in the garage or in the home and line it with white butcher paper. Have your kids draw pictures and write the words and phrases to describe their experiences.

The objective of these activities is to create a fun learning environment at home where your children can sharpen their academic skills and learn to express their feelings constructively. You will also learn something about your child in the process.