Golden Age of Handwriting

I recently met one of my favourite High School teachers. We spoke about the times years back when teaching was so easy. When the children actually thought about things when given an essay to finish. While reading an actual traditional printed book and working their way through the books, brood over the unfolding material. When they visually processed and mused over the scene, critically analyse and deduce it. To actually enjoy the lengthy, trail of logic, to think and go back to the text you started with. The excitement of finishing a book!

And that night I had a dream that I was looking at paper with something written on it but I was unable to read it no matter how hard I tried…. And that got me to thinking, will there really be a time when no one would be able to read handwriting at all!!


I couldn’t want anything more than to see kids writing cursive (running hand) writing, since it appears inappropriate when something fine – looking, useful, factually and traditionally significant disappears.








Young children want to read and write – they see it as a natural process. They scribble and draw shapes and sizes. They see elders and try to imitate them by drawing letters. Teachers should encourage this instinct. The instructions given by them in primary schools are extremely important and should be followed up.


It should not be treated as just activity – as a tick in the box.  The average time for practicing handwriting programs is two hours per week or 15 min a day is sufficient. And they should not be allowed to get away with illegible script.


Handwriting is not a separate skill today. The essential objective for schools today is to teach young students to read fluently. And when they compose the letters, not only do they relate the symbol to sounds but they also make them on paper which gives them a better idea about the particular letters associated which is essential for good spelling. The instructions should be strictly followed in these formative years when they are attempting to ace letter sounds.


At the point when small kids get the hang of penmanship while they are figuring out how to communicate their feelings and thoughts they learn and connect to two kinds of writing – mechanical/unconscious and intellectual and productive.


Research suggests that a child should write clearly as well as in speed. Figuring out how to legibly is a gradual process but the rewards associated with this disappointment and irritation are long term.


Bad illegible writing gives an indirect message that the writer does not care for the reader. For example, a kid writes a brilliant book report but he has his own font – extremely illegible, no matter how splendid the content is, by the time the teacher is figuring out what it is you have already got a D!!


A very neat handwritten job application letter with a pleasing script will always be pleasing over scribbles.


Research says that students taking handwritten notes in class tend to retain more than notes taken on laptops or iPad.  Notes on laptop is more of a mechanical process – where the student goes into stenographic mode and does not process the information conductively the way it is meant to be. The train of thought is lost while typing as compared to writing. Assignment of book report or essay writing becomes more of a chore for them. Also, kids without laptop tend to engage more in classroom discussions.


But some of them have other problems like they have trouble figuring out their own writing if written in high speed. In school while the focus is on legibility, they should also be taught to write quick. Slow writing produces less and also lose train of thoughts.


We live in a speed world where pleasant legible writing but also fast is the need of the hour!


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