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(65 Posts)
ninathenana Thu 29-Oct-15 09:03:45

An article in the Mirror this morning states "Handwriting is becoming a thing of the past" and that "one in five teenagers doesn't pick up a pen more than once every couple of months outside school" and over 50% don't have letter paper at home.
Finland is apparently phasing out handwriting lessons in school in favour of keyboard skills.
This made me think, apart from jotting notes when on the phone and doing the crossword, I hardly ever use a pen. My appointments are all on my phone.
What about you ?

M0nica Mon 29-Feb-16 10:19:47

Yes, but. Galen, you are a doctor. You are expected to have illegible writing grin.

Galen Sun 28-Feb-16 14:00:41

As even I can't read my writing, there's no point in my trying.

miep Sun 28-Feb-16 13:57:17

I don't handwrite much these days, but oddly enough, everyone who sees my writing compliments me - and it's been the same all my life. Not to blow my own trumpet, but I do think that a page of my writing (sort of a bastardised italic) looks good! My daughters learned to write in France, where they still take graphology really seriously and use a fountain pen, but after a year in a London school their writing was diabolical. Almost made me cry

BBbevan Sun 28-Feb-16 12:13:57

There were no left- handed scissors in my day. You just had to adapt.
I also had to be aware not to smudge the ink when writing. To this day I always fill in crosswords etc. Right to left and read a magazine from the back.

Tresco Sun 28-Feb-16 11:48:53

If you have ever, as a right-handed person, have ever tried to use left-handed scisssors, you will appreciate the frustration felt by a left-handed child trying to learn to use "ordinary" scissors.
I think the most important thing about teaching handwriting to left-handed children is not necessarily special pens, but teaching them to turn their paper to give a better angle. If they clasp hands in front of them, then align the long side of their paper with the writing arm, that gives a good angle at which to write without covering the words with their arm. I see so many left-handers "hooking" their wrists, which must use more muscles and be more uncomfortable.

NanaandGrampy Sun 28-Feb-16 11:23:18

I love the technology that allows us to type, text etc but I still believe handwriting has a place and that using the technology should come second to being able to handwrite.

All 4 of my grandchildren ( even the 2 year old) send thank you letters that are handwritten. They're short, sweet and always decorated with stickers or drawings.

Equally they email me too.

I never send a typewritten letter, I always handwrite using a fountain pen . I think it shows I have taken time and trouble and really thought about what Im saying.

I totally see a place for computer generated letters but I will be sad if technology makes handwriting obsolete.

BBbevan Sun 28-Feb-16 11:14:30

About teaching left- handed children. I do not agree with special pens, scissors etc. If you are left- handed, as I am, you would have to take all the special equipment with you wherever you go. Far better to make a good fist of using readily available right handed stuff. And no cheating by swopping knife and fork.

annodomini Tue 16-Feb-16 17:24:11

Did any of you also have to start with 'pot-hooks' which were the 'building blocks' of cursive writing? My GC don't seem to use lined paper to guide their writing. I know that mine would have been even worse if I hadn't had lined exercise books. It was so awful by the time I was 15, that my dad went out and bought a book on italic handwriting which surprised my teachers who had almost given up on me.

jen53 Tue 16-Feb-16 11:06:55

We have to remember that school age children and FE students are assessed using written exams, as are members of the medical profession of course to name but a few. Consequently, handwriting must be fluent, speedy and legible so must be taught explicitly. I am a handwriting tutor and a SEN consultant and give HW INSET in primary schools.

grannyactivist Sun 17-Jan-16 12:28:52

My six year old grandson has beautiful handwriting in which he takes great pride. He never learned to print as the school begins the children on cursive writing straight away. His school encourages letter writing too, if any of the children are naughty they always have to write a letter of apology.

M0nica Sun 17-Jan-16 12:20:54

DGS, aged 5, is learning to write and right from the start is doing cursive writing. He wrote me a very interesting story about the Titanic at Christmas.

Both DGC do a lot of writing at school and write well.

Willow500 Sun 17-Jan-16 07:28:12

My handwriting has become appalling over the last few years as I work and 'play' on the computer all day, every day. When I do write anything I find my brain works faster than my hand and I constantly make mistakes! It's rather worrying if handwriting lessons are phased out - we all need to write something at some point even if it's only cards - I was going to say cheques but even that's becoming a thing of the past! There was a time when a scanned signature was not valid - it still isn't in some countries such as India but with all the technology these days adding your signature to a document digitally is now becoming the norm too.

Wendysue Sun 17-Jan-16 03:00:59

I know I'm coming into this conversation very late, but I find it interesting. I don't remember when I last wrote a letter. All my written communication with family and friends is either by email or FB messages. I still send cards to some people (birthday or Christmas), but I usually print on those since my handwriting is hard to read. Even so, I write my signature in cursive (and so does DH).

But I know very few young people who use handwriting at all in this age of computers, and so forth. So I don't blame those school systems who have stopped teaching cursive or stopped emphasizing it in favor of keyboard skills. There's not enough time in the day for everything and, IMO, keyboard is now more important.

True, it means people in the near future will no longer have signatures, as we know them. And some, as feetlebaum points out, already don't. But I imagine they will be replaced by something else. I'm not sure what - a number, perhaps? A little scary for a couple of reasons. But I expect that's the way things will go and future generations won't think anything about it.

One other concern I've read about is that there are many historical documents written in longhand (think The Magna Carta and so forth) and people won't be able to read them. I admit, when I first heard that, I was alarmed. But then I realized that some of them have been transcribed into manuscript in various books and such. Still, perhaps, it would be a good idea for future historians to learn to read cursive. It may have to become a requirement for history majors or something like that.

In the end, I'm sure it will all work out...

Anya Mon 02-Nov-15 16:13:01


friends123 Mon 02-Nov-15 12:44:08

Last week to yours penfriend although this time via aprinter

Anya Sun 01-Nov-15 13:40:18

Best to jus ring up in office hours nina

ninathenana Sun 01-Nov-15 13:10:20

I have just tried to order th AUK Lifebook I tried several links on the site but kept getting a page to fill in with dates of my insurance policies thlconfused

MaizieD Sun 01-Nov-15 12:25:20

One of the more interesting benefits of handwriting, which is rarely considered, is that it helps children to learn to spell more easily. Writing a word by hand develops kinaesthetic memory for the unique 'feel' and rhythm produced when writing it. Once hand and brain have, between them, mastered a spelling you very rarely have to consciously think about its consituent letters when you write it; just 'think' the word and the rest is automatic.

Spelling is, for the most part, really poorly taught in schools already; if handwriting were to be discontinued even fewer children are likely to learn to spell competently... 'Hunt & Peck' on a keyboard is a very poor substitute for handwriting.

chrissyh Sun 01-Nov-15 11:30:15

I have a couple of people I still send letters to but tend to use the computer. I do, however, always handwrite thank you letters.

Daisyanswerdo Sat 31-Oct-15 17:09:58

I like my handwriting, which I think is (mostly) legible and recognisable. I was taught using the Marion Richardson method. I think it was a good basic hand whereby personality could develop. I've never followed it to the letter (as it were); for example, I don't use an open shape for 'p'. I loved the patterns you could make, for example writing one letter first one way, then upside-down along the top.

Amenhotep Sat 31-Oct-15 16:29:55

Had a Waterman ink fountain pen for my birthday so using it all the time, it's such a pleasure to write anything, even ashopping list! I had forgotten this so am really pleased about it!

Hidge Sat 31-Oct-15 14:48:26

The last thing I wrote was a cheque !!!

Elrel Sat 31-Oct-15 14:07:17

Anya - thank you for your mention of the Age Concern Life Book. I'd not heard of it but have now ordered one.

jimorourke Sat 31-Oct-15 13:20:50

I like to write out thank you notes for acts of kindness shown to me because of my disability. I have noticed however that my handwriting has deteriorated. The answer I have found is to write slower and with a good quality fountain pen not a biro. I also have to think very carefully what I want to write as overconfidence makes me use the wrong words.

Elrel Sat 31-Oct-15 13:20:16

I may have been thinking of the Think Write programme apparently pioneered by two Hampshire pre-prep schools, also used in Devon. The letters are taught initially with the joining 'flicks' (my word!) already there so they later easily come together into words (my interpretation!). It's described as being also successful in a 'clinical' setting. Interesting but I don't have time to really look into this method.

Loads of online information on other sites too, some specifically aimed at children with dyspraxia, etc. Worth a look for anyone wanting to help a child.