Will Handwriting Instruction Disappear from Elementary Education or Will it Receive a Boost from Mobile Apps Such as LetterSchool?

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Elementary education is at an important crossroads: breathe new life into handwriting instruction, let it die a slow death or abandon it completely. Many people are leaning toward the last option. The American National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) recently published the policy update “The Handwriting Debate,” which describes the current state of affairs, particularly in light of research. Studies show that learning to write is much more than just the acquisition of a useful skill. Mobile apps such as LetterSchool could play an important role in the revival of handwriting education.


The NASBE report shows that learning to write is crucial for young children’s development, but the time, knowledge and resources to offer quality handwriting instruction are often lacking. “Using current techniques and goals,” the report says, “handwriting can be taught much more effciently and effectively—and without as much pain for students—than in the past.” Software publisher Boreaal concurs that educational apps such as LetterSchool can form a large part of the solution. By offering individualized writing exercises on the iPad or iPhone, LetterSchool makes it possible to provide high-quality instruction at low expense and with minimal teacher effort. By spending $2.99 on LetterSchool, schools not only save money on expensive handwriting methods and software, but also on precious teaching time. Moreover, Boreaal claims that LetterSchool’s instructions can be much more effective than traditional teaching methods. By watching the animated letter formations, and by forming the letters and numbers themselves over and over again, children are able to fully internalize their shapes and functions. The kinesthetic practice, which occurs through fun and nonthreatening motor activity rather than passively listening to classroom instruction, reinforces the results.

The NASBE recently published “The Handwriting Debate” in preparation for an important decision that state boards of education must soon make: whether or not to specify handwriting requirements for English Language Arts (ELA). One conclusion that can be drawn from the report is that, though the use of pen and paper is diminishing, the act of learning to write is extremely important for young children’s development in the following areas: cognitive and motor skills development, literacy development, brain development, memory and written expression. The report adds that handwriting instruction is especially valuable to many students with disabilities. The problem is that overfull curricula leave little room for handwriting lessons. Moreover, those lessons often make less than optimal use of the available time. Many schools consider handwriting skills a lesser subject, and many teachers indicate that they received poor handwriting instruction themselves. Mobile apps such as LetterSchool provide a solution to these problems.

LetterSchool has already been introduced into many homes, schools and therapy practices all over the world. The method’s educational value is strongly appreciated by users. Feedback confirms that LetterSchool lets kids have fun while they practice the complex skills of handwriting. The continuous highly positive response from parents, teachers and therapists underscores LetterSchool’s important role as an innovator in handwriting instruction. A list of the app’s awards and experts’ reviews is available at LetterSchool.com.

Install the free lite version of LetterSchool which will allow you to reach the gold level and test-drive the free-form writing game more quickly. Reporters can also request a promotional code for the full version. Feel free to ask for our media kit containing high-resolution artwork on the contact page of our website.

National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), “Policy Update: The Handwriting Debate”, Vol. 19, No 7 (September 2012)

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