A few weeks before we started school, I was ordering our school material for this year (don’t follow my example of procrastination!). Andrew happened to ask what all I was getting, and when I got down to mentioning the handwriting books, he rattled my cage.
I mentioned that Paul was going to learn cursive this year, and Andrew wondered why would we have him learn to write cursive. Was there any point in it? He expects that in the very near future, writing of any kind will be obsolete, and people will type, text, or even speak and have it printed from their voice.
In the end, Andrew clarified that he wasn’t saying we shouldn’t have Paul learn cursive, but he was putting for the question of why would we strap that burden on him (in light of advancing technology), and was it even necessary.
Can I go on a rant here? I love all the technology of our day and age. I enjoy the benefits of it. But in my body and blood, when it gets down to the rubber meeting the road, my dig-with-a-hoe, grow-from-the-dirt, think-with-your-brain heritage comes through. The very idea of my kids growing up without knowing how to print and write just because they can communicate entirely by pushing buttons, or speaking into a machine that will print out what dictate raises my hackles. Even if the whole world goes to that, may my children be among the archaic few who still have those lost skills (when that day comes)!
With less wind in my sails and a lot less dignity and confidence, I ordered the handwriting book (and the spelling books). We’ve had a conversation about the value (or lack thereof) of having Paul do spelling, because he already knows how to spell. And that’s very true. The spelling book has a lot of redundancy in for Paul, and likely his life would be just they same academically when he graduates from high school if he didn’t do spelling.
But you know what? He loves his Word Building! He loves doing it! It’s one of his favorite subjects. Be it overkill, or busy work, or whatever you want, why would I eliminate one of his favorite school books just because it’s not that necessary?
So, we keep it and he at least gets practice writing (and learns some things on the way that he might not have found out otherwise).
Back to the question about cursive. Guess who is thrilled to the core to be learning cursive and loves, I mean absolutely loves, to write in cursive? You are right, it’s Paul. He even writes notes to himself in his music books in cursive.
So, once again, even if it’s a dying art, something entirely unnecessary for his generation, and possibly something he’ll never need or use in his adult life, he sure is enjoying it now. He begged me to take his handwriting book along on vacation (and I did, but I don’t think he ever got it out). He frequently does extra pages in his hand-writing book, just enjoying writing in cursive and learning more. I don’t know the real answers to Andrew’s questions, but I am sure it was the right thing to go ahead and have Paul learn cursive. I think kids enjoy doing things, learning new things, and they love doing something well that they can do. I believe cursive writing falls in that category for Paul. (And, of course, it makes me happy for him to learn cursive. :) )