The importance of penmanship for children Its no secret that technology has invaded our lives. All the technological breakthroughs have improved our lifestyle, but they have also drastically changed the way we live and behave. Probably the worst part of having technological devices so ever-present in our lives is that it is affecting the childhood and development of our children. It is enough to see how a child behaves these days to realise just how different things are now compared to when we were children. As a result of too much exposure to technology, children nowadays have weight-related issues, problems when it comes to interacting and socialising with their peers, communication difficulties, and many more.
One of these difficulties is the inability to hold a pen in their hands. Every year more and more pre-school children have very poor skills when holding pencils and pens in their hands. When they first arrive in the classroom and are given a pencil, they barely know what they have to do with it or how to use it correctly. How did this happen? Compared to a few decades ago, when the colouring book and pencils were among the favourite toys of children, children these days learn first to use a tablet or a smart phone, instead of learning how to draw or play games. Senior paediatric doctors came to this conclusion, realising what had driven so many children to lack the dexterity and strength to hold onto a pencil. Their hands seem much more used to using a touch- screen than a traditional pencil. Just how bad is it to allow young children to use mobile devices? According to doctors, when a child uses a touch-screen too much, his or her fingers are unable to develop their muscular tissue sufficiently. Therefore holding a pencil becomes a challenge instead of being something easy and natural. In comparison with the pre-school children of past decades, today’s pre-school children lack the same dexterity. This is one of the depressing conclusions drawn by doctors after monitoring this phenomenon. As they now lack fundamental skills when it comes to moving and utilising their fingers and hands, today’s children are showing an inability to use pens and pencils. And their number is growing by the year. Fingers have fine muscles, but one must have a good control of these muscles in order to be able to use a pencil.
This type of news should be an alarm-bell for all the parents out there. Penmanship is vital for children and it is not an obsolete technique. Yes, we can do a lot of things with the help of mobile devices, but we should not forget that learning to hold a pen and writing is still a very important skill. Each of us should develop in a way that will enable us to be prepared for and cope with any kind of situation. So make sure you offer your child pencils from a very early age and help them develop these important skills.
While computers make the learning process extremely comfortable and convenient, they will never be able to replace the role of a teacher. Technology is a good source of information, but we should not forget that we are emotional beings, who have conflicts and issues that need to be addressed. A computer will never be able to intervene in cases of bullying, for example, or to provide emotional support for those that need it. We still need to have a human being who knows how to interpret emotions and feelings and who gives us a helping hand when we need one.
Computers are unable to give us the emotions that are stirred by having a face-to-face conversation with another person. The debates that take place in a classroom, when students are discussing a subject with the teacher, are incredibly important for the development of emotional, linguistic and social skills. We need these skills in order to be able to interact with the people around us. Machines can’t show us how to do this properly as they are impersonal. This is why the presence of a teacher in the life of a person and in his or her learning process is of paramount importance.
Despite the fact that technology has changed the learning process and brought it to a different level, we still need the experience, training, and expertise of teachers. Their education and years spent teaching others are extremely valuable resources for each student. We are all different, having different interests, talents, and skills. A teacher is capable of seeing and recognising our talents and directing us on the right path that will turn us into successful professionals. This is why the best teaching methods at the moment is an intertwining between technology and face-to-face teaching. In other words, we need a teacher in order to make the most of digital learning and of everything technology has to offer in this sector. Only in this way will we manage to find the right path in life and enjoy successful careers.
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