How Handwriting Could Impact Your Child's Future

By KBJR News 1

How Handwriting Could Impact Your Child's Future

September 28, 2010 Updated Sep 28, 2010 at 6:17 PM CDT

When teens have something to write, that message is likely to be composed at a computer keyboard or maybe even a cell phone.
Pens, pencils and paper?

Some argue that handwriting is becoming obsolete.

Maybe someday but there are still assignments and essay questions on tests, midterms, finals and even college entrance exams.

Barbara Reyelts has more in this Connect with Kids story.

They send text messages, type essays, even take notes on a laptop, but today's students do very little handwriting.

"Every assignment that we have to turn in, in the long run is required to be typed. It looks neater."

And the result?

"I think I have horrible handwriting, it's barely legible."

And that can be a problem, especially because, currently, the SAT and other state and national exams require students to write essays by hand.

"I found it hard to write an essay just using handwriting because I've grown used to typing my essays on the computer."

And while teachers who grade the SAT are told not to mark off for sloppy penmanship-- research shows handwriting can send a message.

"It's hard when you look at some types of handwriting to not read certain things into it. You know the big bubbly handwriting for instance can sometimes lead a teacher to think, 'Oh, Airhead."

"If your handwriting is barely legible, it makes them think that you are not really an organized person, that you are writing too fast, you are not thinking about it."

A recent survey by text plus reveals that 29% of teens admit using text shorthand in their written school assignments.

While technology may make handwriting less important than in the past--educators say students still need to write legibly.

"I think in the case of handwriting, one of the best things that they could do is just drill."

For example she says students could practice writing timed essays by hand before they take the SAT.