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!
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.