THEN…

“It’s three sentences! Come onnnnnnnn Clay, it’ll take you 2 minutes if you just get on with it. You need to know how to write, it’s important!”

Every day was a struggle, like pulling teeth, I wasn’t even asking him to do that much, a few sentences a day, maybe a paragraph here and there, why does it have to be so hard?? His writing was ok, but he needed to be able to write faster, how was he going to survive if he couldn’t write quickly and legibly?? And don’t even get me started on his spelling, urgh.

NOW…

I picked up a pen the other day, I wrote fourteen names down, trying to figure out how many people were coming for Christmas lunch. Took me a while to find a pen, oh and the notepad, could’ve sworn I’d put one in the third drawer…

I don’t hand write very often, the odd form here and there, a scribble on a piece of scrap paper when I’m working something out, but not every day, not even every other day…and there’s no one looking over my shoulder with a timer, and certainly no one who has to read my writing…save for that form…

My point is, on the whole, handwriting is not a very important part of my life. Aside from the forms (which I fill out at my pace, generally using all caps as that is the preferred method), I don’t actually need to write anything down ever, I only write for me.

Clay doesn’t like writing, so for him, if he is one day faced with having to work out how many people are coming for Christmas lunch, he will likely type it into a phone or computer. He writes every now and then, generally something that he wants to remember from one screen to the next, a server name, an address. He writes when he needs to.

His spelling is coming along nicely, too. He used to ask me multiple times a day how to spell words, words he needed to chat to his friends, things he was searching for on Google. Rote memorisation of “spelling words” from “spelling books” he didn’t use never stuck. Words that are relevant to him he now knows, and is also able to figure out most other words himself. No fuss. No drama.

As for Jessie, she will be four next month, she knows her letters, she knows her sounds, she can type her name and is getting better at typing in the “/tp c [TAB]” command that gets her to teleport to her brother in Minecraft. The other day, however, she came into our room and presented me with an “M” (for Mummy), I had no idea she knew how to write an M. She then disappeaered again and came back with a “D” (for Daddy). She proceeded to ask how to write a few more letters (I drew them on a notepad for her….oh yeah, that’s where the notepad is!), and she came back a few minutes later with these also. No fuss. No drama.

young unschoolers handwriting(sorry for the sideways image, it wont turn for me today!)

Writing has become somewhat relevant for her, and so she wants to learn. And she is learning on her own. She hasn’t written any letters today, nor did she yesterday, but when she needs to, when it is relevant, she will.

I guess my point is, in today’s world, when everything is being done online, how important is handwriting for homeschooled/unschooled kids? Personally, I don’t think it’s important at all…and I’m so thankful that our days are not punctuated by the dreaded handwriting practice anymore.

xx