National Handwriting Day. Keep Teaching Cursive + Send Someone A Letter

January 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

It’s National Handwriting Day and I got to thinking again about the controversy around cursive writing. I believe it should continue to be taught and practiced. As a matter of fact, I think we should start a movement to get people writing by hand every day.

I must confess that when I was teaching K-3 I hated teaching cursive writing. I loved writing by hand but for some reason it was one of the hardest things for me to teach. It was hard for me to learn how to write cursive when I was in 3rd grade but I loved relearning it in college. In my Education courses on how to teach handwriting, the professor made us get notebooks just like the kids would have and learn how to write the alphabet all over again. It was great fun the second time around and my handwriting changed completely.

It might be hard to learn and hard to teach but I think it’s such an important part of a child’s education. Besides the fine motor and cognitive skills the children learn there’s so much more that they learn. Focus, quiet concentration, discipline, attention to detail, personal style among others, slowness.  In our digital & fast moving world, writing by hand can also serve as a meditation of sorts. I remember the quiet, slow, concentration in the classroom when the children were practicing their cursive writing. They couldn’t rush through it.

Isn’t if fun to discover someone through their handwriting? Think of the difference between reading an email from someone and reading a handwritten letter from them. Seeing someone’s handwriting and experiencing the physical manifestation of their thoughts in their own handwriting is a different experience than reading them in digital form. We put voices and expression to digital missives but a person comes through in their handwriting in many ways that just aren’t there when we read them on our screens.

Children develop their own signature in so many ways when they learn how to write, and other children get to know them through their handwriting as well. The kids always knew who wrote a composition without even looking at the name at the top of the page. It was an extension of them, their essence put on the page.

I’ve recently started exchanging letters with a friend across the country who re-introduced me to the fun and joys of it. (Thanks Lisa!) Choosing your instruments, paper/card/pen, thoughtfully thinking about what you’ll write, sending it out and the fun of getting a handwritten letter yourself. It’s a completely different experience than sending & receiving emails.

So today, to celebrate National Handwriting Day why don’t you send someone a handwritten letter? They’ll love it. So will you.

Enjoy the day your way,


@coachkiki @writecoachkiki

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