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Is Handwriting a Thing of the Past?

 

Have you ever stopped to wonder: Is Handwriting a Thing of the Past?

I recently read an article that said a lot of schools in the US have taken cursive writing out of their curriculum, partly due to the digital age and the increase in technology. A Smartboard replaced the chalkboard, and even in kindergarten, my daughter had allotted computer time at school. But, even with technology advances, does that mean the abandonment of cursive communication?

Take the holidays for example. How many of you sent photo cards to friends and family {not a handwritten card}, opting for address labels to further avoid even writing on the envelope. Better yet, how many send holiday greetings through a Facebook message or email. Is it all just out of convenience, to not ‘waste’ time in writing with a good ‘ol pen and paper? {I’m not preaching, I’m guilty of not taking the time too}.

I think the most extreme case was a wedding invite over the summer via a message on Facebook. Yes, I said a wedding invitation via Facebook! The message started with “Hey, if you aren’t busy next weekend….” {!}. Does that then give free pass to send a ‘wedding present’ over FB, maybe an extra watering can on Farmville? Instead of signing the wedding guest book, maybe just take along an address label or business card and paste it on? Why teach our kids to talk at all, they’ll just text all their life anyway, right?

Am I getting carried away here? I do have a point to make:

As much as it’s convenient and attractive to communicate online, I can’t help but to miss the written word. The genuine communication that comes with your own unique writing that cannot be portrayed in typed text no matter how many bold letters and !!! you use.

Myself, I love opening an envelope to see a letter written, crisp pages covered with ink and smudges. Yet, I am sadly used to plunking on a keyboard, and  have noticed that my own handwriting has suffered terribly. I used to have beautiful handwriting. Now, I fight the urge to use abbreviations and add in a hashtag or two, even when handwriting. #Seriously.

In Grade 2 my daughter is being taught cursive, and she is so excited about learning. I’m happy to see her eager to learn the newest program or game online – but also encourage her passion to fill her journals with stories and ideas. Her true emotion, in her own penmanship.

What about you, how often do you write ‘the old fashioned way’?

Do you think that cursive is an instrument of the past?

 

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16 Comments

  1. Great post and SO true! I’m hearing more and more that as long as they can type it doesn’t matter if they write! In fact I had a bank teller tell me the other day they have a customer who can’t write cursive so they’ve had to learn his “X” instead of his signature! Seriously!? I for one will be teaching my children cursive! Technology is a GREAT thing and obviously our culture is moving quickly in that direction, but I do think there are basic skills everyone must learn – technology or not! Sharing w/my readers!

  2. My kids are too young for cellphones and any websites that require them to type more than a user name and password – considering DD7 has always had trouble with hand writing, it’s encouraged in our house even if mom is a blogger.

    I do hand write “To Do” lists, grocery lists and keep a written record of projects and information “just in case”. Although I am guilty of not sending out holiday cards this year I am writing everyone a personalized card attached to their gifts. I thought it would be a nice touch 🙂

    I think hand writing is important as a basic human skill – what if one unfortunate and sad day technology as we know it ceases to exist. How would we communicate if nobody knew how to write a letter?

    1. Same as me, Alyssa. Isabelle finds it frustrating right now to type words on a keyboard {she doesn’t have it memorized yet}. I’m happy she’d rather reach for a pen and paper!!

  3. There was a study recently released linking hand writing to ability learn higher thinking concepts. True? Don’t know. But for parents who have children planning on attending college, the SAT not only requirers handwritten essays, but also requires them to copy an honesty paragraph in cursive (can’t print it!). Know of a few kids who got tripped up by it.

    The need won’t go away, not matter how much the sales man wants to convince you otherwise.

    1. Is that so, Jana! We don’t have SAT’s here in canada, but I’d be curious about our college testing and if they still use pen and paper – it’s been a while for me, sadly. College was a long time ago and things have changed!! lol
      Does that make me sound old or what?!
      🙂

  4. Brooklyn is loving it too! She is handwriting her name on EVERTHING!!

    My friends and I were just talking about this tonight – so funny that you posted about it. Great post…and I did giggle..carried away maybe, but it kinda makes sense! lol (and I totally talk in blog talk, with internet lingo and hashtags, etc.)

    1. #BloggerSayWhat?

      I have to remind myself to ‘go back to my roots’ once in a while. I still like to journal with pen and paper – I need to correct my bad writing!!!

  5. I think we should start asking the kids to “WRITE” down everything. I got annoyed when I asked my daughter write down a list that she keep me waiting for minutes because she need to take out her note pad from her phone – which will take 5 seconds to physically write it down.

    Son told me he was “painting” in the computer. The kids are slowly losing the basic skill. I don’t know what they’ll do if there’s no electricity for a few days *eye rolling* So I am happy son’s school still has cursive writing exercise.

    He keeps asking me if his writing is beautiful – makes me chuckles.

  6. I came to Canada from Russia when I was 14, that was 10 years ago. In Russia we HAD to write in cursive. When we learned English, we also learned cursive. When I started school in Canada, I was in shock that everyone printed their letters (and wrote with a pencil and not a pen). So I adjusted and I print my letters now. When I write in Russian, I use cursive as that’s what I’m used to.
    You are right. I think writing by hand in general is becoming an instrument of the past. We rely too much on technology these days… I find that when I’m trying to write something by hand, my hand starts killing me as I’m not used to writing much anymore! Yet I can type all day long.
    I’m thinking it’ll be sooner rather than later when kids will be using electronic touch-pads in school instead of notepads and pens.
    I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Kinda cool and futuristic, yet kinda sad as soon we’ll be like in the movie “Wall-E” (too lazy to do anything)!

  7. I enjoyed learning cursive and I think it should always be part of the curriculum. I admit I rarely handwrite (I usually print) but I think being able to read and write cursive is a life skill everyone should learn. It is somewhat part of the past, but I think its important that our schools continue to keep teaching our children.

  8. How awful that cursive is being taken out of some schools curriculum. I believe it is important to know how to handwrite no matter how tech savy our world is becomming. I’m glad to hear your daughter is still being taught.

  9. We talked about this a few months ago when we realized our teens told us they really could not remember how to write in cursive. I think this is horrible.

  10. I was just writing a Thank You card the other day in cursive and it felt so strange to me. I still think they should teach cursive in school and hope that my son will grow up and learn what cursive is.

  11. I used to have pretty decent handwriting but over the years with doing so much typing and texting it has become terrible. I actually have to stop and think how to form certain letters when I do have to write something by hand and it doesn’t flow easily.

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