Sunday, August 2, 2009

Write it Down!

Taking a break from technology, I would like to focus on something relatively simple; writing. I am literally referring to the process of taking a pen into your hand, forming letters that eventually become words and words that eventually become sentences. I am about to disarm many of you with this statement:

I cannot remember the last time I wrote something down!

I've been using a computer for so long that I barely have the opportunity to use paper and pen. This scares me.

What scares me even more is the fact that our kids will write even less then we did when we were children. I remember working hard to learn to hold a pencil. Then it was on to learning to construct letters in print. Finally, the dreaded cursive. I hated writing in script because it was so difficult to loop letters together in a fancy way. 

Today, schools (public and private) are filled with computers. Children still learn the fundamentals of reading and writing, but as soon as they are able they are typing away. Where does this leave the old paper and pen?

Will our children still be as proficient writers if they are using computers 90% of the time? Look at our world: nearly everything is computer-based. From writing an email to checking your bank balance, it's all done  on the computer. 

So what do we do as parents? We create activities with which to use paper and pen with our children. Since our society is computer-based, we must re-introduce the paper and pen. This means we sit down with our kids and write real letters (with stamps and all) to send to relatives who live out of town or even in town! We draw with our children. Find an excuse to get off the computer and use some ink and tree carcass!

Ball point, felt tip, blue, black or red ink; It doesn't matter which one you choose. Just break it out and start writing! 


  1. I was just telling Alana about this article from last week's Time magazine:,9171,1912419,00.html

  2. I THINK THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT TOPIC. I am really glad you presented it to parents who should be concerned. We all learned to write and found lots of uses for the skill. What will happen to a generation who doesn't know how to write. Seems that both computer and writing skills have value. It is obviously relevant today as per Jack's reference to a Time Magazine article focused on the same issue. Bravo

  3. What if people stop learning to read script? What if eventually the only only thing they will be able to recognize will be STANDARD print letters. Then what happens when they see a Captcha?

  4. Actually, my students (high school) often complain if teacher use script on the board and rarely use it in their homework. Thus, I try to ALWAYS write in script on the board. Just my effort to maintain the written language and subvert the way our culture is going.

  5. Josina- That's amazing! I love it. Someone needs to maintain our language, because it seems to be on a rapid downward spiral!

    Jack- EXCELLENT article! I found it fascinating and terrirying (at the same time)that doctors handwriting could actually cause people to die.

    Mom- Remember you never learned to print? You moved so much that you skipped over it and went right to cursive!

    Dad- When these people in question are confronted with a captcha, their brains will explode!

  6. I forgot about that Sarah. I only learned to print at an advanced age when I started to teach ESL.

  7. Hey Everyone!

    I finally remember two instances where I wrote something down that occurred relatively recentl

    1. Recording a claim number for my lost cell phone.
    2. Writing a check for my insurance co-payment to my therapist.

    Although these instances were less than creative, I haven't lost my relationship with pen and paper just yet.

  8. I feel like it depends on the field you are in. I tend to write a lot at the hospital, but even then, they are trying to make electronic records and charting systems. This is a good thing though, because it cuts down on medical errors and gets information to different places quicker.


What do you think? Feel free to agree or disagree, but hateful comments will be deleted.