Re-run Sunday with an update

Original post date: January 30, 2010.

So, my kids have atrocious handwriting.  It could be hereditary, because one of their parents has pretty rough handwriting also.  I’m not saying which parent, but it isn’t me 😉 

I’m a little disappointed that the school has let this problem slip through their fingers.  They started teaching cursive in the second grade, I think.  But there was absolutely no follow up in the next few years.  I even heard a middle school teacher comment that when she wrote on the board in cursive, her students said they couldn’t read it. 

Now, I understand as well as anyone that typing is becoming the main way of communicating the written word, but there are two problems going on here.  One, is that these kids still will need to know how to sign their names and probably fill out forms in handwriting.  The other problem is that neither of my kids has been given the opportunity to learn typing at school.  I asked the principal of the middle school about this problem a couple of years ago and he indicated that in the next year or so, something would be implemented where the kids were taught to type.  So, where does that leave my kids…lousy handwriting and typing with the one finger pecking method.  It’s just not right.  When I was in gradeschool, cursive was taught early and reinforced as part of the curriculum for several years.  And when I was in highschool, at least where I went to school, everyone was required to take a typing class.  I have attempted many times to institute practice of handwriting and/or typing at home, but with all the other homework that has to get done, it often just doesn’t get squeezed in.  And when they go to school they always defer back to printing…which also leaves something to be desired.

Do they just not offer typing in school anymore?  Shouldn’t it be taught at least in middle school now?  Shouldn’t they be covering the gap here?  I know a lot of people think there are way too many things in the curriculum already, but this seems to me a pretty rudimentary life skill that should be taught in school.  I think there are some elective classes I would be willing for my kids to exchange in order to get typing/handwriting skills.  Not to mention other life skills that they seem to have cut out of the curriculum…but that’s another whole topic for another day!

Update:

Younger son is going into 10th grade next year and they are finally scheduling him into a typing class…at our request.

When younger son broke his right arm, guess who got to write everything for him.  (The school officially calls us “scribes”).  I kept wondering if his grades would miraculously go up since the teachers could read what was written.  Nope, it doesn’t seem like it, which is too bad because that might’ve helped to make someone understand the need for help in this area! 

Meanwhile, I was determined (for the whole first day of summer) that he would have to practice handwriting.  His handwriting was considerably better!  He said it was because he had to go slow (muscles still weak from the broken arm)…hmmm…I feel like somewhere, some time in the past, words might have been uttered a few times by exasperated parents to slow down.  Don’t quote me on that, though.

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13 Responses to Re-run Sunday with an update

  1. Julie says:

    When I was in school everyone took typing in 9th or 10th grade. It seems like it would be good to teach them younger, though!

    I have been a stickler for handwriting with my 9 year old. I knew that with his genes (ahem, being related to his father) that it wouldn’t be easy. But I’ve been homeschooling him since K and he has lovely handwriting now. I used Handwriting without tears. Now…on the other hand..J-boy who went to public Kindergarten has atrocious handwriting. It’s almost like they don’t really care or something. I can make him do it neatly but no on at school seems to mind the slop he offers! ha ha.

    Not really sure what to do..but thought i’d work on it this summer with him too!! Have I yet..you ask?? NO!! But i have great intentions. AH…but we all know what the road to hell is paved with! ha ha

    Sorry I haven’t been by lately. I could have sworn I saved your blogspot but just couldn’t find it anywhere. When you comment your profile doesn’t have your website on it so you are hard to find!! Did you know you can set it to show up on your google profile. That way people can find you! hint hint! I say that only because I like you! Now I have you safely in my favorites after digging through my plethora of emails and finding one where you left a link!!

    • Jb says:

      Thanks for tracking me down! I thought I added it to my profile (I remember you told me before). I don’t know why it hasn’t seemed to take. I guess I’ll have to spend some time investigating why google doesn’t like me as much as you do 😉 .

      So, is the road to hell paved with…pencil lead from all the pencils that should have been used to practice handwriting LOL!

  2. I’ve wondered about this as well. I have no experience with the school system, but I can see the value of putting the kids on a Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing program from a young age.

  3. Purplume says:

    When my sons were in high school I took them to a summer school that had a typing class.

    My handwriting is pretty messy. And I love to draw. You would think that would qualify you to have decent handwriting. but alas no.

    • Jb says:

      Oh, that would be so much fun to torture my boys in that manner 😉 I’ll have to look into that…or use the threat of it to blackmail them 😉
      I’m thinking there must be some kind of inverse proportion thing to the drawing thing, ’cause I have decent enough handwriting, but suck at drawing. Not that I am the only representative of these things in the whole world 😉 .

  4. Jb says:

    Oh, that would be so much fun to torture my boys in that manner 😉 I’ll have to look into that…or use the threat of it to blackmail them 😉
    I’m thinking there must be some kind of inverse proportion thing to the drawing thing, ’cause I have decent enough handwriting, but suck at drawing. Not that I am the only representative of these things in the whole world 😉 .

  5. Holly says:

    Find some way to get him a typing class, even if you have to go out of school. When I was in high school, I took a typing class because all the adults said it was an important thing to know for college (typing papers). So I took it. And HATED it. But now I laugh whenever I see people typing with two fingers, and I’m so grateful I took the typing class. It was an important investment in time, as far as I’m concerned. And probably one of the most useful things I learned in high school.

    • Jb says:

      The younger son is scheduled for one at school this next year (finally). Older son seems to type pretty fast without having had instruction. There are some fun and useful sites that teach it. Now if we could just get consistent!

  6. Holly says:

    Find some way to get him a typing class, even if you have to go out of school. When I was in high school, I took a typing class because all the adults said it was an important thing to know for college (typing papers). So I took it. And HATED it. But now I laugh whenever I see people typing with two fingers, and I’m so grateful I took the typing class. It was an important investment in time, as far as I’m concerned. And probably one of the most useful things I learned in high school.

  7. Dan says:

    Typing, yes. Cursive–no way. That’s totally a thing of the past. There is no need to learn cursive anymore. Why do we need an alternative set of letters? What’s wrong with printing? Do we even know how to make a Capital Cursive Q? Or F? Do cursive advocates really do that? I haven’t seen one of those letters since third grade. (which was 36 years ago now!).

    • Jb says:

      Younger son’s printing isn’t much better. They didn’t practice that either. I’m a little suspicious that he might even be left handed. I’m mostly with you on the cursive versus printing thing, but what about your signature?

      • Dan says:

        A signature is just a stylized representation of your name–it can be anything really! I have to sign so many things that over the years I’ve shortened it to such that the only recognizable letter is a “D” anyhow. Don’t need cursive for that–a D and some scribble!

  8. Jb says:

    Younger son’s printing isn’t much better. They didn’t practice that either. I’m a little suspicious that he might even be left handed. I’m mostly with you on the cursive versus printing thing, but what about your signature?

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