There is still value to be found in the practice of handwriting. Handwriting is an important component of multi-sensory instruction for teaching letters and their sounds. It allows students to memorize and recognize letters faster, and it helps students better differentiate between similar letters. Source: The effects of handwriting experience on functional brain development in pre-literate children
Handwriting is incredibly beneficial, especially early in a child’s education. This is because handwriting is a multi-sensory experience. The more senses that are engaged while learning, the faster and easier it is for the student to master that concept. While tracing and typing are technically multi-sensory activities, they are not as immersive or effective as handwriting is for teaching and reinforcing letter shapes and sounds.
Handwriting helps students connect letters to sounds. This is especially true if their teacher encourages them to make the sound when they write the letter. For example, making the sound /a/ (as in apple) when they write the letter a.
At Aspire, we provide children many many multi-sensory ways to write their letters while repeating the letter, keyword, and sound – for example, a – apple – /a/. Multi-sensory includes writing the letter with a finger in the sky, in sand, or on glitter paper. Handwriting is included in every lesson in the dictation section of instruction.
Handwriting helps students recognize and memorize letters faster. In contrast to typing or tracing, handwriting allows a student to engage with the form of each letter in a more immersive way. By writing each letter, the student becomes adept at creating and identifying similar letters such as b, d, p, and q. If a student can successfully write a letter correctly, they are much more likely to be able to read it correctly as well.
Another useful benefit of handwriting is that students who primarily hand write (versus tracing or typing) are better at recognizing different forms of letters (such as uppercase or lowercase, and varieties of fonts).