Want your child to do better in math or be a stronger reader? Have them write out your weekly shopping list.
Dinehart studied more than 3,000 four-year-olds in Miami-Dade County. Those who received better grades on fine motor skill tasks, such as writing, also scored higher on math and reading tests taken later.
Dinehart says schools should put more emphasis on handwriting, cursive and art.
“Schools have kind of dropped handwriting from their curriculum and I think it might have been jumping the gun a little bit,” she says. “I think it forces us to take a second look at what handwriting might actually be providing kids.”
Parents can encourage those skills at home by providing art supplies. Kids can also make lists, such as animals they see at the zoo.
Dinehart says her next study will try to answer why good handwriting leads to better grades.