Dry Erase Walls in the Home School Can Help to Develop Young Brains
Forget about a dinky little traditional whiteboard to satisfy all of your home school writing and drawing needs. If you and your students have large ideas, you need a large surface like a durable, writable dry erase painted wall to express them. With a small monetary investment in a top-quality dry erase paint kit and about 45 minutes of application time, you and your home learners can have a massive dry erase wall on which to do your lessons and other school activities, plan your schedules, brainstorm ideas for writing assignments, and much more. Although the world is awash in technological devices for education, business, and the home, the educational and cognitive advantages of writing by hand on a surface like a dry erase wall far outweigh those of typing on an electronic keyboard.
If you’re a homeschooling parent who’s constantly on the cutting edge of teaching equipment and who always keeps up with the latest in instructional tools, you may have already heard about dry erase paint. But whether or not you know of dry erase walls, when you learn more about their potential to boost your children’s mental and academic abilities, you’ll definitely want to incorporate them into your daily home school experience.
Writing by Hand is the Optimal Form of Recording Words and Numbers
In terms of overall benefits to the mind, no one has yet come up with a language-communication technology as effective as writing by hand. When students type “notes” on a laptop, desktop, or tablet and schedule events on an electronic calendar, the process may seem easier than writing by hand, but the educational and cognitive effects are far less positive. The following are some of the upsides of using a dry erase wall as your basic instructional and communication tool in the home school setting.
The Ability to Think in Words Improves Memory
Research shows that people are losing the mental and physical benefits of writing by hand as the activity becomes less common in today’s world of computers, laptops, tablets, and other keyboard-based devices. For example, a 2017 study revealed that writing by hand can improve a person’s memory for new information, as the parts of the brain associated with learning are more fully activated when words are written by hand instead of with a keyboard. The study found that writing by hand may support the “deep encoding” of new data in ways that typing does not. Other researchers have also demonstrated that typing letters on a keyboard can’t match writing by hand with respect to improving children’s learning and cognitive growth.
Though it’s a little more time-consuming, there are many benefits to handwriting as opposed to typing. Notes handwritten in class, for example, result in superior short- and long-term recall in students’ minds because they include the students’ own words and style of handwriting. These elements can function as effective memory prompts because they recreate the content and context of the original lesson or lecture where the notes were taken.
When you write things out by hand on a dry erase wall or on paper, you form spatial relationships between each piece of data you’re recording. Handwriting activates parts of your brain that are involved in thinking and working memory and allows you to retain and organize information. The movements involved when you use a pen or dry erase marker with your hand help you to program and store long-term information in your brain.
Math Skills and Knowledge Expand with a Dry Erase Painted Wall
According to studies in educational psychology, math skills can be developed and nurtured through the use of a manual writing approach. When students physically write out the steps they take to solve math equations on a surface like a dry erase wall, they’re able to simultaneously ask and answer questions and use the writing process as a visual support system for learning. Also, when teachers write out visual prompts such as charts with images and essential problem-solving steps, students learn math strategies more effectively than they would by just studying textbooks. And what better way is there to plainly write out such visual cues than on a large attractive dry erase painted wall?
Better Analytical Thinking Develops When Using a Dry Erase Wall
Because of their large surface areas and easy erasability, dry erase walls give students endless chances to practice analytical thinking by making flowcharts, book outlines, storyboards, pros and cons lists, and more. Outlines, which involve making linear representations of key data, a so-called “left hemisphere of the brain” activity, are easily generated on the large canvas of a dry erase wall. Another commonly used tool for analytical thinking is the flowchart, a diagram that depicts a process, a system, or a computer algorithm using circles, squares, ovals, or other shapes to define the relevant steps, along with arrows to describe the flow and sequence. Widely used to record, organize, assess, and describe processes, flowcharts are also easy to make on dry erase painted walls. With their large open-ended surfaces, dry erase walls allow you to create fully detailed flowcharts without the need to erase one part of the chart in order to create the next part, as a traditionally framed whiteboard might require.
Presenting Detailed Items and Facts Becomes Easier
Another clear advantage of the large surfaces of dry erase walls is the fact that they allow many details and facts to be displayed in a highly visible form ad infinitum. Also, the reality that writing on a dry erase wall is typically slower than typing on a keyboard improves the acquisition and recall of details and facts. A report in the journal Psychological Science states that students who take handwritten notes get better scores on tests of learning and comprehension than students who type on laptops. This can also be applied to writing on dry erase walls since the act of handwriting in itself has been found to engage many parts of the brain and to increase communication among nerve cells.
Critical Thinking Skills become Sharper
When you compare the effects of handwriting and typing, you’ll find that you’re more inclined to engage in critical thinking when you write by hand than when you type on an electronic keyboard. Handwriting encourages you to think more systematically and precisely about the information you’re logging, to expand on your thoughts, and to notice interrelationships. On a dry erase wall, this process may be further enhanced by using markers with different-colored inks to color-code various parts of what you’re writing and thus see connections among them more easily.
Those who regularly write by hand are able to recognize associations among various abstract ideas and come up with unorthodox solutions to intricate problems. However, if you avoid writing by hand and instead use a keyboard all the time, you may find it harder to comprehend the meaning of texts and interpret how words and phrases are related to one another.
Conceptual Understanding of Texts is Reinforced
When you write information by hand, you develop a stronger abstract understanding of what you’re recording than you would if you were typing. Since handwriting is more slow-paced and physical in nature, taking notes verbatim is difficult. Thus, you need to actually process the information in your mind and sum it up in a way that seems sensible to you.
This demonstrates one of the other advantages of handwriting over typing. Handwriting forces the brain to actively engage with the data being recorded so that it improves the literacy and reading comprehension of students and teachers alike. Conversely, typing encourages the verbatim recording of information so that not much thought is given to what’s being recorded. Although it may be possible to type words more quickly than writing them by hand, this mechanical transcription can cause poor understanding and application of information.
Creates a Powerful Tool for Growth
So, if you have one or more blank walls in the area of the house where you home school your kids, consider coating them with dry erase paint. You’ll create a tremendous tool for teaching and general household communication that will help you and your children grow immensely.