It’s not my lefty whose handwriting has me concerned. All of a sudden, my youngest daughter has physician’s scrawl in 2nd grade. Perhaps I am exaggerating. (Would the queen of hyperbole exaggerate these matters when it comes to her children? Of course). But I do want her to take her time with handwriting. It’s a made of work effort, appearance, and grade. She’s a bright, bright girl, but will get a lower mark if she hands in her physician’s notes. Whether it’s handwriting now or later doing her thesis in graduate school, I want her to take her time.
This is a new phenom, as she used to have wonderfully neat work last year. What’s the rush in 2nd grade? I guess she’s just catching up to the rest of us. As Jen Klein writes in her blog article “Promoting Penmanship”, society has less of an emphasis on this at large. In the 21st century, we spend more time on the computer keyboard, than with a pen and paper for communication. As far as the classroom, her school is hardly alone with its lesser emphasis on cursive and greater emphasis on many other things. It’s a far cry from my days in parochial school where the nuns had us first do circles and lines on dry boards before we even attempted letters.
As a cost, penmanship, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination have seemed to suffer across the population.
I do so think proper penmanship has its place. Who doesn’t want their child to put forth their best efforts on paper—have the exterior match the thought and consideration of an answer that is jotted down? Who enjoys having their handwritten note examined and misunderstood, as if it was ancient Greek scrolls? This isn’t ancient Greece. I am that writer who jokes about how she should have been a doctor for the poor and sorry state of her handwriting. I do not want our children to follow suit.
In her article, Klein offers some great suggestions to stem the tide of poor “penning.” She encourages her children’s efforts by having baskets of colored pencils and pens for writing, drawing, and this type of handy work. She also has purchased calligraphy sets for them to practice with and take pride in using on paper. Additionally, she has challenged herself to write more neatly and take her time doing everything from grocery lists fancifully to personal thank you cards. This is just one of those things…