Hands-down, I think one of the most important things today’s children need to learn in school is handwriting. Especially cursive handwriting.
Because of a rise in technology and a reduction in curriculum standards, cursive handwriting is no longer an essential component in education. In most cases, it isn’t taught at all.
It used to be that only the learned could sign their names. Some took pride in their ability to flourish with a pen. We often to refer to signatures as a John Hancock for a reason.
But, we are losing a personal identifier and an ability to make our mark with more than an X, the sign of the uneducated. We are threatening creativity and individuality because we are reducing our signatures to a fingered scribble on a touchscreen. We are also limiting those who are able to write to a profound, saddening disability.
I have written before about one of the main reasons we began our home education journey. When my middle son with developmental disabilities was in kindergarten, I was told it would be best for him to have a stamp or a stencil of his name to identify his papers rather than to have him learn to write his name freehand.
Absorb this statement for a moment.
Consider the future endeavors of your child or the children in your life.
Consider the underlying decision made by the educators and the education system.
Consider, what you would do?
I made a critical decision myself after that discussion.
Because of that decision, my son does not use a stamp or a stencil to make his mark. He uses a writing instrument–pencil, pen, stylus, etc.–to sign his name in cursive on paper. Even when he has to use his finger on a touchpad, he begins by writing that signature.
My son’s signature remains one of the most beautiful images for me. It symbolizes defying the assumptions and limitations of our society. It reflects the freedom and independence our country declared for itself and defined with a constitution we are required to adhere to as a nation. It displays my son’s personal identity with creativity and flourish.
In a world that reduces people to numbers, why would we limit ourselves to a single letter or an impersonal scribble? Why would we disable ourselves? Why would we decide to limit our children at the age of five?
Absorb that question for a moment.
Are you brave enough to write down your answer? To watch the ink soak into the fibers of the paper?
Are you willing sign your name to it?
Are you able?