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Should I insist my children learn to write cursive?

Should I insist my children learns to write?

With today’s modern technology, it’s natural to wonder just how important it is for a child to learn to write. The founding parents of our educational system were correct when they created the cornerstone for our school’s teachings; Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. By taking writing from our schools, we are literally taking out a third of what the student needs to be successful in their education.

Although there are devices that will more quickly and accurately communicate, the act of handwriting is brain development and doesn’t have much to do with the hand at all. Handwriting is in fact, brain writing. If a person were to lose their hands in an accident, and subsequently learned to write with their feet or mouth, once the coordination of controlling the pen or pencil was mastered, the writing would look similar if not exactly like if they were using their hands. The reason for this is that a person’s handwriting is nothing more than body language on paper. (Which is why it changes with our moods.)

It’s Brain Writing

Writing develops our children’s brains in more ways than just hand/eye coordination. It develops communication skills as well as empathy and compassion. The children of today are often so attuned to communicating with their phones when in a face-to-face social situation, they often are uncomfortable and awkward. This can be directly linked to the lack of writing in their lives.

Analyzing a child’s writing should wait until they are over eighteen for several reasons, the biggest is the rapid way they are developing, learning and changing. Since children are constantly growing into their future selves, it’s encouraged for them to explore through the written word as well as drawings. In fact, a better way to analyze a child’s state of mind is to have them draw a house, a tree, a flower, a snake and a heart. These items can demonstrate the way the child is feeling at the moment the doodles are created. Each indicates a different part of the child’s life from their self-image to their home life, their friendships and attitudes towards sex. Like with writing, it needs to be understood, the drawing is the way they feel at the moment in time they drew it, those things can change with moods, outer influences and over-all situations in their lives.

What can a parent do?

It’s never too early to introduce children into writing and doodling. As soon as a toddler can hold a pencil, they can put it to paper and begin a brain work-out. Here are a few suggestions to get your child writing and enjoying the process of it.

  1. Unlined paper – When getting a journal for your child, invest in a sketch pad instead. Lines on paper tend to restrict the creativity and expression of their penmanship. If a child wants to write big, little, uphill, down-hill or all over the place, let them. There is no right or wrong way for them to get started.
  2. Age for cursive writing – Keep in mind, when cursive is introduced, girls have the fine-motor skills by third or fourth grade whereas boys aren’t ready for that type of writing until sixth or seventh. This explains why women tend to enjoy cursive writing more than men, they were introduced to it when their brains were ready and able to process the act. (It also explains why most women are more compassionate and empathetic.)
  3. The only red-flags are extremes – If your child is writing so hard it puts dents in your table, that is an extreme that needs to be addressed (there will be other emotional signs from your child, but intense heavy writing can be interpreted as anger). These red-flags need to be consistent or most likely would be considered a mood or phase. Other extremes that are noteworthy are very tiny writing or writing that is so perfect it looks like a font from a computer.
  4. Don’t worry about spelling or punctuation – Unless your student it doing a homework assignment that will be graded, don’t stress out about the spelling or punctuation. When a child can be free to express themselves without the pressure of dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s they will have a better overall experience. If the experience is good, they will be more likely to want to write again and again.

Don’t forget to write

Unlike algebra, handwriting may never be used in everyday life for your child (lol). That being said, the benefits of teaching your child to write will never be a waste of time. Writing hones in hand/eye coordination, encourages creativity and develops compassion and empathy more than we realize. To ensure your child has all the advantages they need in today’s competitive world, writing may be the easiest tool to give them. To maximize their success, regardless of their passions and talents, don’t forget to write.

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Celebrity Handwriting Analysis this week, Amy Schumer!

Happy birthday, Amy Schumer! (June 1, 1981)

This week’s celebrity handwriting analysis is this funny lady. When I started looking for her signature to analyze I thought, This can’t be it, surely this is just some random person making a scribble in one of Amy’s books. The more I searched, the more I found myself shaking my head and thinking, Amy, put down the pen… step away from the writing instrument. Well, she can’t be good at everything, so if her only fault is her penmanship, we can let her slide.

I know this may come as a shock, but Amy’s writing shows she’s out-going, outspoken, and loves attention. (Weird, right?) She also tends to portray more confidence than she’s feeling. Otherwise, her writing has high qualities of honesty and truthfulness. The ‘what you see is what you get’ is endearing and likable. With Amy, if she’s happy, you’ll know if, if she’s pissed, you’ll know it… she wears her heart on her sleeve. There’s plenty of privacy in her writing too, she’s protective of those closest to her and may still struggle being a recognizable star.

Adaptable and well adjusted, (well, for the most part well adjusted), Amy enjoys conversations and can make friends easily. When it comes to making decisions, Amy likes to talk things out. Overall, she’s pretty chatty (another surprise, right?) There’s also consistent indications that she’s a peace keeper, a lover (not a fighter) and a person that truly has empathy for others.

Amy’s a daddy’s girl. (Okay, I read her book and know she’s a daddy’s girl, but it’s in her writing too… really, it is.) She has a can-do attitude but may be a downer if the project isn’t something her heart is invested in. She’s all about serving other’s, possibly to a fault. She’s forgiving. She’s intelligent. She’s kind. She’s flexible (possibly in more ways than one… just trying to be funny. lol…)

For years, I’ve enjoyed this young woman’s talents and now I’ve peeked at her writing, I totally want her to stop by, ride my horse and smoke a lefty. Happiest of Birthdays, Amy! Cheers to many more!

Quotes by Amy Schumer

I’m a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story – I will.

I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you.

Nothing good ever happens in a blackout. I’ve never woken up and been like, ‘What is this Pilates mat doing out?’

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Dan Rather reporting on Handwriting

Feeling lazy this week. DAN RATHER wrote this. He said it better than I could have anyway…

I share this article because I find it interesting, informative, and because in the end I beg to differ.

I understand all the points the author makes. She makes them well and her forthcoming book on handwriting sounds very interesting. Perhaps it’s my age, my being a creature of habit, but I feel that she misses one of the essential elements of writing words on paper – the beauty of channeling the mystery of thought, through the mechanics of muscle, into the tangible reality of seeing inked letters on a physical surface. And cursive adds to this process a sense of beauty.

To me this isn’t about the dubious effects of improved mental or small muscle development. It is something essential to being human, to leaving a physical mark of our thoughts. It is what channeled the prehistoric cave painters, the etched hieroglyphics, and anyone who has carved initials into a tree.

Yes we live in a digital age, with electronic redundancies and back up. But just like the vinyl record has clawed its way back from extinction into a small but vibrant niche, I see a purpose for the handwritten thought into the future. There are many utilitarian reasons to not spend precious class time on handwriting. And I know many people who now write better channeling thought directly to keyboard. It is faster and more efficient. No doubt. But from my conversations on this topic, I know that those same people feel different when they sit down to write something physically. It’s not a substitute, it’s an alternate experience.

To lay out a beautifully-rendered note card or fine stationary and gather one’s thoughts to a loved one or friend in times of joy and sorrow, favorite pen in hand, considering where in the paper you will cast your first stroke, is to experience something special. And I hope we do not deny future generations these sublime moments. To me they are a quintessential part of the human experience.

I have saved many a letter from friends and family – some written in a fine hand, some quite sloppy, but most of them seem more personal, more connected then a the product of a computer printer.

Call me old fashioned. Call me out of touch. I call it human and I want to hold on to it.

I would be curious of your thoughts.…/handwriting-just-doesnt-matter.html