It took Sam a while before he really loved to write. I was worried because school work came fast and natural to me. His teacher kept a progress book where every week they had to fill out a sheet with a letter of the alphabet. In Sams book, the first page had a couple of mindless scratches. Im not sure if he was even looking at what he was doing. Sowe started practicing writing at home. In the beginning Sam would just say words and ask me to write them while he watched. It was all he was interested in so we went with that as I wanted him to love reading and writing as much as I do. Slowlyvery S-L-O-W-L-Yhe began to have interest in picking up the pencil, in drawing and finally, in writing. You can imagine my happiness!
One dayaround the letter Pthe teacher showed it to me again. The difference was amazing: Sam was filling in all the answers on the page in clear printing! He had even written his name and his best friends name on the back and hed drawn some pictures of superheroes. I think the teacher was as thrilled as I was with how far he had come.
Over the summer, I didnt want this progress to slow down. As I have mentioned before, Sam and I drove to Newfoundland this summer. I had a plan that we would send Mike postcards with messages Sam had written for him along the way. Funny thing is in the days of social media, you cant find postcards anymore! Instead I picked up a pack of index cards, some BIC mechanical pencils as well as some BIC permanent markers and we made our own postcards.
While I tried to encourage Sam to draw and write about the memories we were creating on our road trip, he was more intent on sharing pictures of his beloved superheroes. So we went with it. With each card, I asked Sam what he wanted to say to Mike (whom he calls Bobby not Daddy – long story) and we would work together to summarize it into a sentence, which Sam would then write on the card himself.
Did you know that when children first learn to write by hand, they learn to read more quickly, plus the ability to generate ideas and remember information is enhanced? Writing by hand fosters creativity, helps to improve critical thinking skills, and improves self-confidenceall positives for our kids.
Nowadays, after first grade, more schools are incorporating an emphasis on the keyboard in their curriculums. Although Im all for kids becoming proficient on electronic devices, it seems handwriting really does matter. I read a Wall Street Journal article that sited this from handwriting analyst Michelle Dresbold: Typing doesnt help the brain develop as much as writing in longhand, so children are not thinking as thoroughly. That caught my attention! Also, to remember conceptual information over the long term, taking notes by hand is better than taking notes on a laptop, according to findings published in Psychological Science.
In addition to our little postcard exercise, I kept blank paper and pencils on a table at Sams height so he could reach for them whenever he wanted. The other day he grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil and said, Mommy, I am going to draw you a picture. And then he ran into his room. When he came out, he had copied all the superhero names from a poster on his wall in near perfect penmanship! I almost cried with joy. I even folded that paper and carried it in my purse for two months. It was such a jump in progress!
Knowing of our experiences and what Ive learned about the importance of handwriting, Im supporting BICs mission to save handwriting. They are encouraging all of us to take their Fight for Your Write pledge to save handwriting because writing makes us ALL awesome! You can take their pledge and enter their contest for a chance to win a $1,200 Prize Pack. No purchase is necessary. This is for 18+ U.S. citizens only and ends 9/page/14/15. Visit www.BICFightForYourWrite.com for details. While youre there, you might consider opting in for their monthly e-newsletterbecome a Handwriting Hero!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bic. The opinions and text are all mine.