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Why is handwriting so important for your child?

little boy drawing

Key points:

  1. Preschoolers’ early writing skills can predict both their grades and their standardized test scores in second-grade reading and math, according to research by early childhood education expert Laura Dinehart.
  2. Writing skills also promote curiosity and help develop motor skills, memory and attention, according to other research in child development.
  3. Children who perform better in “fine motor skills tasks” tend to have long-term academic success.

We’ve previously discussed the influence of technology in handwriting, as well as the importance of hand coordination as a pre-writing skill. Today we want to address the possible link between handwriting skills and the future academic success of your little one.

Laura Dinehart, an expert on early childhood education, conducted a study that was published by the Florida International University. She found that preschoolers’ early writing skills can predict both their grades and their standardized test scores in second-grade reading and math.

She examined the grades of 3,000 second-graders and linked them to past information about the children’s skills during preschool. She observed that the little ones who received good grades on fine motor skills tasks during early childhood had higher grades in second grade and vice versa. Those who did poorly had lower grades.


Moreover, students who performed better on fine motor skills tasks were also above average in math and reading standardized tests, in contrast with the group of students that performed poorly on fine motor skills tasks.

Other research on child development states the importance of pre-writing skills, based not only on its influence on motor skills refinement, but on other skills. Scribbling, coloring, and more evolved types of writing foster your child’s curiosity, while their brain cells connect in many different ways. You’ll see how, as they try and imitate the print they see in their environment, scribbling and pre-writing skills will start to emerge.

Moreover, as they practice scribbling, they will gain muscular control and start to draw circles, symbols, and even letters. This involves not only motor skills, but a wide arrange of other skills, like attention, memory, finding cause and effect, and many others. All these skills will make your little one triumph, not only academically but outside of school too.

Help them strengthen and practice their pre-writing skills and lay a foundation for what comes next!

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