Published on February 21st, 2020 | by Sam Rose
Why Should Children Keep Letter Writing Alive?
Ali Lawler offers up a number of key reasons as to why children should help keep letter writing alive in our newest Guest Blog article.
Digital may be all the rage in business and on social media, but it is no wonder why schools are continuing to stress the importance of handwritten work and communications.
For one, print is far from a dead medium; around 73% of people surveyed stated that reading print is more pleasurable than reading on an electronic device.
When it comes to letters, the personal touch is more important than ever.
If you have a communicative child in your life who wishes to connect with a penpal, write down poetry by hand and send it to a friend, or simply communicate with others in the family, these are a few good reasons why this hobby should be encouraged.
A Time to Connect with Their Inner World
Children in the UK aged 5 to 16 spend an average of 6.5 hours per day in front of a screen, compared with less than half this amount of time in 1995, according to research conducted by Childwise.
The content they consume includes games and learning-based software, which leaves very little time to connect with their thoughts and emotions.
Letter writing is arguably one of the most introspective hobbies that exist.
It requires writers to enter into a mindful state and to communicate with others in a contemplative, non-rushed fashion.
One study undertaken by scientists at the University of British Columbia in Canada showed that spirituality (or connecting with one’s inner world and building quality relationships with others) is a key indicator of happiness – and letter writing clearly helps with both of these goals.
Honing Other Skills
Schools and universities in the UK are increasingly embracing a multidisciplinary approach to education; one in which literature, art, science, and maths can find their way in the discussion of everything from energy saving techniques to the physics behind the world’s fastest roller coasters.
Thus, children are encouraged to hone their fine arts skills, presenting hand-drawn images and cartoons of nature to support scientific and mathematical facts.
Because letter writing is undertaken in a mindful, relaxed fashion, it provides the perfect opportunity for children to send an illustration alongside their words.
Parents can help kids boost their artistic abilities by asking them to draw something they talk about in their letter – it could be a green area they have visited, food they have eaten, or kids’ movie they recently watched.
Letter Writing Improves Learning
Writing by hand enhances the learning process – according to a study undertaken at The University of Stavenger.
A group of neurophysiologists found that when we write by hand our brain receives feedback from your motor actions, alongside the sensation of feeling the paper and pencil/pen.
When we take pen to paper, the movements we use leave a motor memory in the sensorimotor area of the brain – which helps us recognise letters.
The researchers believe that the fact that writing takes longer than typing also help consolidate memory of the things we are learning.
“Our bodies are designed to interact with the world which surrounds us.
We are living creatures, geared toward using physical objects – be it a book, a keyboard or a pen – to perform certain tasks.” said one of the researchers.
There are many reasons why children should be encouraged to write letters by hand.
Writing helps children learn more about the subject matter they are writing about.
It also provides them with a unique opportunity to enjoy a little quiet time, far from their smartphones and tablets.
To get kids excited about writing, providing them with a host of cute tools – everything from pens to folders and stationery – will help.
And so will setting an example yourself… so why not start putting pen to paper today?
Text provided by Ali Lawler.