Writing is one of the most complex tasks that any student will need to do. It involves high levels of language processing, organization of thought, understanding of sentence structure, spelling skills and the ability to write (or type) fluidly. Phew! That is a lot of cognitive coordination! For many students the process is daunting. For those who have visual motor integration difficulties, where the coordination necessary for handwriting and/or typing itself is cognitive, that process is overwhelming.
These are the students who think, “The tawny, striped cat on the stone wall noticed a tiny mouse scurrying toward its hole and pounced, missing it by inches.” What ends up on paper: “The cat jumped on the mouse.” Their written output does not match the complexity of thought. And, the process of getting even that much on paper takes a very long time.
There is an overwhelming amount of research that indicates how important fluent handwriting is for the developing brain – for learners. There are important neurological connections between the development of thinking skills and the process of writing.
The key for building fluency with your child – written, reading, or math – is regular, consistent practice. There is no shortcut, but the reward is greater ease in their ability to get their schoolwork done in a timely manner. More time left to play!