Schools Drop Handwriting Lessons

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

"Moving toward technology is going to prepare them for what they need to do in every day life, throughout middle school and high school, and then also as young professionals."

-Brett Meteyer, 4th grade teacher

If you want your child to learn cursive, then you better know it pretty well yourself.

Many schools aren't teaching it anymore, and now some basic handwriting skills are being taught through technology.

The electric pencil sharpener was once the hottest gadget in the classroom, but now it isn't getting much attention.

"Cursive has fallen off, and technology has sort of replaced it," Brett Meteyer said of teaching fourth grade at Explorer Elementary in Williamston.

In some schools handwriting isn't being taught the way you might remember. Instead elementary students are learning through technology, as part of the Common Core standards some districts are adopting

"Common Core really focuses on, in this regard, more on the twenty-first century skill development and the use of technology to both compose and publish writing, but also to be an effective medium of communication," Explorer Elementary Principal Adam Spina said.

To be clear, students still use pencils and paper, but there aren't lessons devoted to handwriting. Teachers focus on keyboarding skills and interactive programs. The idea is students already use it outside of the classroom, and this way teachers can help build a proper foundation

"Moving toward technology is going to prepare them for what they need to do in every day life, throughout middle school and high school, and then also as young professionals," Meteyer said.

Parents worry handwriting - even signing one's own name - isn't being valued enough.

"It's a skill they need to know. I hope they wouldn't phase it out completely," Reva Richardson said.

Teachers say they're happy to work with students who show interest, but people should also be realistic.

"The written language evolves enough, where we say some things can fall off, while other things are introduced," Meteyer said.

There are some things that should stand the test of time though.

"Like a letter to their grandma, like a thank you note, a real one," grandma Theresa Meyer said.

So far students have responded well to integrating the technology. Teachers say it helps to individualize education.

Explorer Elementary is hoping to get more iPads and Kindles for classrooms. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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