Handwriting is a language by hand. While reading is a visual experience, handwriting is the kinesthetic element of language. Learning how to form the letters' shapes helps students recognize them more readily for reading. Seeing, hearing, saying, and simultaneously writing the phonograms reinforces and deepens their learning. We strongly recommend teaching children to write the letters simultaneously while learning to read them.
It is essential to note that children do not need to master handwriting while learning to read. It is normal for handwriting mastery to lag far behind progress in reading, especially in very young children. Handwriting mastery or penmanship often takes much longer to develop. However, handwriting while learning phonograms helps students learn how to read!
It is also unnecessary for young children to only write the letters using fine-motor movements. The transition to pencil and paper can come later when fine motor skills are more developed. Children can practice writing the letters in sand, with markers, paint, or skywriting, using their whole arm.