The Lost Art

As we’re building up towards the Monster’s IEP meeting in a week and a half, we’re starting to discuss at home the things that we want to see included on next year’s plan.

Aside from the verbal issues – that’ll be a blog post on its own after I’ve had some time to collect my thoughts – this morning’s breakfast table discussion centered on handwriting.

Handwriting is one of those really weird spots for me.

On the one hand, I very rarely write anything “longhand” anymore.  Aside from this blog, and the other things I write in my free time, I’m also a software developer, so… I would have to say that there’s very few occasions when I break out a pen – filling out offline forms, perhaps, or the occasional note to the Monster’s teachers.  Most of what I do in my day-to-day life I can do through the computer, from paying bills to filling out most paperwork.  Plus, generally, when I usually write something out, it’s in block letters anyway (as mentioned, forms or the like), rather than cursive…

But… well, for those who have seen it, I have what I would like to think is exquisitely beautiful handwriting.  And that came from a lot of hard work – I had horrifyingly illegible handwriting through fifth grade, when my teacher suggested to my mother that I start writing with a fountain pen instead of a ballpoint, as his opinion was that my problem was from hurrying.  (And, Mr. Hunt, where ever you are now, thank you for that suggestion!)

This morning’s discussion centered largely on the fact that the Monster still needs his hand stabilized to write properly. His grip isn’t that good, and he just doesn’t push the pencil down hard enough to mark the sheet while he’s trying to write.  The wife wants handwriting improvement to be on his list of goals for the 2013-2014 school year – I, on the other hand, want them to work on similar fine motor skills, but I’m not all that concerned about the handwriting improvement per se.  I’m thinking that a good portion of his issue is more his ability to have a grip with his fingers – he can squeeze my hand, for instance, but it’s not very firm even then – and that working on that issue of his tactile control might improve the handwriting without that being a specific concrete goal itself.

Beautiful penmanship is a wonderful thing to behold.  I’m just not as concerned as to whether or not he has legible handwriting as we move into an age where it’s needed less and less.

Any thoughts from the gallery on this one?

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