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#31 of 33 Old 08-04-2010, 06:49 PM
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I think your professors are saying that because handwriting has declined so badly due to most kids these days typing and texting everything--as well as all of the standardized, fill-in-the-bubble tests. The point is that your professors want something legible--no different from when I was in college.

To the OP, here's an article on "Handwriting Key to Learning"

You also might want to look into the work of Steve Graham of Vanderbilt University (also quoted in the article above). He found that teachers will routinely grade somebody's paper whose handwriting is neat and legible much higher than the exact same content that is written poorly. Also, a study of the written portion of the SAT from 2006, showed that those that wrote in cursive (only 15%) scored significantly higher on the writing portion.

I'd also say... why not teach your son... rather than limit him? Even if it turns out to be a lost skill--it will be a skill he possesses. He's at the optimum age to learn--be it Italic or otherwise--and it requires very little time out of one's day (10-15 minutes per day). I've rarely heard people regret things they did learn, but rather, they tend to regret those things that they didn't learn as a child.

Stepping out of the discussion. I do think that handwriting is an important skill to learn--regardless of how computer-focused we are. Just as I believe that learning to add, subtract, multiply, and divide are important even though calculators and computers are widely available. I have no need for somebody to write place cards--I would hire a graphic designer or calligrapher for that. But I also do not need somebody who is so tied to a computer or Blackberry, that they cannot communicate otherwise.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#32 of 33 Old 08-04-2010, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post
Thank you for saying this. My son (who has dysgraphia as well as dyslexia) may very well struggle with a bias such as this when he is older. Which would be a shame in part because he is so intelligent and creative.

Smart people with dyslexia can struggle with spelling as well. My husband does. But he's a professional with a college education and he does just fine.

The use of a computer with spell check is a very helpful accomodation for people with these learning differences.

While it's true that this is a prevalent bias, a personal bias isn't a very convincing argument in support of a position. For example, someone could say:

Fat people should lose weight because I think fat people are lazy and unattractive.

People shouldn't homeschool their children because when I hear someone has been homeschooled, I assume they are unsocialized weirdos.

Parents shouldn't make their kids wear worn hand-me-downs, because when I see a kid wearing them, I think the family must be poor and lower-class.
Thank you for this post! I believe that I suffer/ suffered from dysgraphia. I remember that in 3rd grade they started pulling me out of regular class for a "special" class. It wasn't special ed, it was something made just for children with dyslexia. Only, the instructors said I didn't have regular dyslexia. They told me that I had "physical" dyslexia. This affected things like learning to tie my shoes and learning to ride a bike. It likely also affected my handwriting, which is probably what tipped the school off in the first place.

What's funny is that while I was being taken out for this "special" class for dyslexic children, I was also being pulled out of class for Gifted and Talented (GT) classes. This further cemented the fact that I didn't suffer from classic dyslexia. I excelled in Language Arts. My brain was just improperly wired for certain physical tasks. Unfortunately for me, there wasn't much known about dysgraphia at the time. They didn't even know what to call it, apparently. As such, beyond that one year of special in-school therapy, my difficulties were largely ignored. I continued to struggle with handwriting and many other physical tasks that others had no problems with.

I am far from unintelligent or uneducated. There are many people with vastly better handwriting skills than myself, who simply can't string together a proper sentence either on paper OR in real life. Neat handwriting clearly isn't the tell-all marker of educational success. While it is somewhat embarrassing to struggle with something that most people (women, especially) excel at, I do not find it very limiting academically. Beyond elementary school I cannot think of one example where I was required to use cursive (aside from the obvious requests for my signature.) In fact, the only time I usually hand write anything is on applications and forms, in which they clearing request at the top to please PRINT the information.

I will admit that since I've now spent so many years predominantly typing my thoughts out on computer, I find it even more difficult than before to write anything out by hand. I'm not sure if this is purely from lack of practice, or if it's related to my ever-advancing carpal tunnel. In either case, I have to focus incredibly hard to maintain my handwriting at the beginning of a lengthy note... and invariably by the end I am in physical pain and struggling to make the letters and words legible at all. I had to fill out an in-depth patient registration form for my daughter today. Looking back over the form, I made it about halfway through the first page before it started to slip. By the last page, I was really struggling and it shows.

I'm sure that when people see my handwriting, they pass judgments about my intelligence or assume that I am a sloppy/ lazy person. Thankfully, it is a rare occurrence for someone to read my handwriting but never meet me face-to-face. My in-person conversational skills far surpass my handwriting skills; and that seems to be all that matters to 99% of the people I encounter.

I'm me. In love with this guy. We're bringing up two girls: Big A (8) and Little A (3)

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#33 of 33 Old 08-04-2010, 09:03 PM
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I also want to add:

Apparently cursive was much more widely used in years past. My DH and I recently had to pull up a deed to piece of property his father may have owned. We discovered that the deed had not been amended since 1938. We were trying to figure out the specifics of the deed, but in truth found it VERY difficult because the notary had written the entire thing in cursive! Normal cursive I can read. I can also understand legal mumbo-jumbo. Even farther, I can easily decipher things written in the vernacular of that time. However, I struggled to understand even 50% what of that deed laid out. The man had horrible cursive handwriting. Horrible. I would much rather have been trying to decipher something printed by a man with terrible handwriting, rather than battling this ancient cursive jumble of words.

I'm me. In love with this guy. We're bringing up two girls: Big A (8) and Little A (3)

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