The Importance of Learning to Write
Learning to write is an important life skill in todays society. When I say ‘learning to write’ I also include ‘typing fluency’ in that category. Being fluent Using a keyboard is just as important as being fluent with a pen or pencil in our 21st century society today. Sometimes this aspect of writing is lost in some schools today.
Learning to write requires the acquisition of some basic foundations skills: handwriting, spelling and sentence structure. Foundation reading skills, including phonemic awareness, are also vital if proficient writing skills are to be developed.
Learning to write accurately and fluently is very important to become a proficient writer. When learning how to write neatly and legibly, a child uses a significant part of their cognitive memory to concentrate on being neat and accurate. What we want is children to put more emphasis and effort into what they write, therefore, automaticity of handwriting is required so all of their brain power is concentrating on the content of their writing.
A component of teaching handwriting is the use of lines to guide a foundation handwriter on where and how to form letters and words. The scaffolding of these lines is gradually reduced as the child becomes more proficient. Each state across Australia has slightly different requirements when it comes to handwriting.
Again, if a child is using some of their cognitive function concentrating on how to spell words, particularly familiar ones, then this takes away from the quality of the content being written. Spelling needs to be practice for 15 - 20 minutes per day for children to gain the required spelling skills and for this to become automatic for them.
Forming sentences and knowing the difference between a fragment and a proper sentence is the next step in becoming a proficient writer. Once the basics are achieved, children can then start to create more complex and creative sentences as their vocabulary and sentence knowledge increases.
Handwriting, spelling and sentence structure are all important foundation skills to acquire to become a proficient writer who can alter their written text and produce quality content.