Hi, I’m Louise!
I’m the Bright Futures Are Written By Hand ambassador for BIC in Australia and New Zealand, and I’m here to share knowledge with you on the importance of handwriting for our children, and to inspire you with activities you can give your kids, to spark their love of handwriting.
Literacy is a passion I’ve pursued for more than 25 years. From classroom teaching to training teachers; from working as a publisher for an international educational publishing house to children’s author, I have left no literacy frontier unexplored.
I have been spreading the word on the link between writing by hand and better reading, spelling, comprehension and idea generating for decades. So, as you can imagine, when BIC approached me about being ambassador for this campaign, I was just a tad excited— in a jumping-up-and-down-excited kind of way!
To discover that BIC realised the benefits of writing by hand and wanted to shine a light on it by running a campaign in the hope of getting parents and children picking up a pen and writing was music to my ears. Because every parent deserves to know what the experts know. And that is, that when children write by hand something magical happens. It’s in the forming of letters, the grouping of letters into words and the arranging of words into sentences that impacts their reading, their literacy and their creative thinking.
The cognitive processes required to write by hand can’t be reproduced in any other way. I like to think of it as driving yourself as opposed to being driven. If I don’t drive a new route myself, I don’t remember it anywhere near as well. Likewise, when a child writes by hand, memory recall and word and letter recognition are much stronger. Handwriting is a critical piece in the literacy and learning puzzle.
As we embark on holidays and a new school year, there will be plenty of opportunities for children to put pen to paper. We can encourage them to create their own Christmas cards and tags, and to write on them by hand. Have them pen their own Christmas wish-lists, letters to Santa and notes to relatives and friends. They might even like to keep a holiday journal or diary. We can also model handwriting by choosing to make notes and shopping lists on paper using a pen rather than on a tablet or device. We can let them see us handwriting and thinking aloud as we do! And when the new school year comes around, they will be even more on top of their game for it!