Is it important to teach your children to have good handwriting?
Jenny Shepard, full-time working mom of
three boys, writes:
Depending on whom you ask in my family, you will get a different answer. I think penmanship is somewhat important, while my husband thinks it’s very important. He has beautiful handwriting; better than mine (which I don’t think is bad), but his puts most women’s penmanship to shame.
He strongly believes that its important for people to have not only good penmanship but also be able to write a letter. In this age of texts, tweets and quick emails, it is somewhat of a lost art to sit and hand-write a letter to someone. We work with our kids to hand-write "Thank You" cards and birthday cards for their friends.
Faith Mellinger, local business owner and mother of THREE boys (Daniel was born Aug. 23: Congratulations Mellinger family!) writes:
Earlier this year a study came out that found small children today are more likely to navigate with a mouse, play a computer game and operate a smartphone than swim, tie their shoelaces or make
their own breakfast (2,200 mothers were polled in a "Digital Diaries" study from Internet Security Company AVG).
I was reading a magazine recently that suggested our busy lifestyles allow for this--the article suggested it's much easier to teach a child to press a button on a smartphone, for example, than the repeated time it takes to teach them the steps to tie a shoelace.
While it's easy to buy Velcro shoes and put your kids in floaties, tying shoes and learning to swim are necessary life skills. In addition to the actual skills, they are also teaching your child a little independence.
I believe penmanship and handwriting are necessary skills as well. A handwritten note still means a lot more to most of us than an email. Ink signatures are more respected than digital ones, and when your iPhone battery dies, sometimes it's necessary to write a handwritten store list.
Even in the digital age we need to retain the motor skills kids learn--they can play tennis on the Wii, but they should also experience a scraped knee from a bicycle mishap and send grandma a handmade note in addition to texting her the latest school photo. We need to adapt to technology without losing important aspects of being a kid!
Jaime Townzen, and stay-at-home mom to two preschool daughters, writes:
I don’t have the best handwriting, but it’s legible. Much better than a doctor’s, but not nearly as lovely as a calligrapher’s. My father likes to say that I was typing his video library into his PC long before I could write my own name with a pen and paper. And I fear that’s the case with many children today.
Last fall I read an article in The Wall Street Journal titled “How
Handwriting Trains the Brain: Forming Letters Is Key to Learning, Memory, Ideas.” Basically, it boiled down to the fact that although technology has aided in speeding up the pace of business and communication, when it comes to truly engaging the brain in learning, the handwritten practice or characters and numbers far exceeds the act of typing on a keyboard for long term memory and recognition.
Not to mention the simple fact that people naturally hold ideas in greater esteem that are well written, both grammatically and legibly.
So I think we all ought to work with our children on learning to read and write their letters and numbers, as well as expose them to the technology they will be expected to master, without allowing one to be a hindrance on the other.