MOTHER LODE: Teachers Know Kids Still Need To Learn The Write Stuff

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MOTHER LODE: Teachers know kids still need to learn the write stuff

Updated ; Posted

It's always nice when you find out that experts support an idea or opinion you have believed to be true for a long time. So it was when I read a news release about a gathering of teachers who are promoting the ancient skill of handwriting.

On Sept. 21 and 22, educators are gathering in Grand Rapids to talk about the need for cursive in the curriculum and demonstrate how to teach it in the classroom.

Apparently, because handwriting has fallen into disuse, schools are no longer teaching it, but recent studies have shown what I always knew: you remember more of what you hear and see if you also write it down. (Notice the spiral notebooks all reporters carry.)

That was the reason, as students, my peers and I copied things from books onto 3x5 cards when compiling reports and taking notes on lectures. "Handwriting is not only the primary way elementary students communicate with their teachers today but college students who took handwritten class notes recalled material better than those who typed them, according to a recent study," the press release reports.

This finding, however, disturbed me: "Today, the focus is on legibility and speed, so there are no more fancy loops and tails, just a faster, more efficient form of handwriting."

To me, those loops and tails were the foundation of legibility and ease of writing. It was an art form. I made page after page of loops, circles, mounds and upright strokes in my quest to gain a free-flowing hand. I used the same technique as a home school mom and have even tried it with my grandchildren. It's relaxing and satisfying even before you are able to put it all together as letters.

When I was in the sixth grade, we moved from town to the country. I attended a one-room schoolhouse. (No, I' m not the same age as Laura Ingalls Wilder.) Our school was the last of the county schools to be consolidated in the 1960s. The year I attended, 1959-60, my teacher, Mrs. Curtis, taught penmanship as a stand-alone subject to be graded. I loved it and got As.

The skill has served me well all my life. I came of age when research papers were still written in pencil on lined paper and teachers appreciated clear handwriting. I learned to type in the 10th grade. After that, I didn't do as much handwriting as before but I still used pen and paper a lot. Of course, as an adult, it was important to have a clear signature for checks.

Now in the computer age, I admit my penmanship has declined to a messy scrawl, but when I concentrate on it, I can produce a nice-looking note on a greeting card or address envelopes by hand, knowing the Postal Service can read them. Best wishes, teachers! Write on.

Source : https://www.mlive.com/advancenewspapers/opinion/index.ssf/2018/09/teachers_know_kids_still_need.html

MOTHER LODE: Teachers know kids still need to learn the write stuff