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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cacography - What happened to penmanship? vbr

Cacography is pretty much the opposite of calligraphy. Cacography is bad handwriting (or spelling). I am going to focus on handwriting though. Bad/poor spelling can be caused by dyslexia, or students educated during that whole period of time when kids were encouraged to be 'creative spellers and focus on content instead'. Great little imaginations bloomed, too bad we couldn't understand what was being written! Ugh. That made me crazy.

Anyway, I digress - again.

Back to the cacography issue.

Can anyone shed some light on why teaching children penmanship is no longer considered a necessity? Does anyone else remember the page of letters that we would complete each day, and when learning cursive, didn't you have to make a whole page of sweeping curves and loops and curls? Then, onto letters. A page of beautifully written letters really is something to be proud of when you are a little kid in school. Hey, there were Penmanship Awards given out! There was a spot on reportcards that actually said PENMANSHIP and you got a grade in it.

When we were little we would scribble on papers and make loop-de-loops and curly whirlies and these were all the precursors to starting to write. It is my understanding that these scribbles and lessons in swirls and loops, practicing spacing and size were all part of developing our visual-spatial pathways (which is a basis for developing math skills.) If we skip over the foundations aren't we going to compromise anything built on 'nothing'? I really don't understand this.

So, today letter C is for cacography and COULD someone explain this whole bann on penmanship to me? I would ask my kids to write something about it for me to read, but...umm..I can't read their handwriting.


  1. seriously? I had to write pages and pages of penmanship as my teacher thought my letters were formed poorly and I ended up studying calligraphy and have actually gotten a dollar a letter on some signs.

  2. Sign of the times ~ 'change is the one constant' we have ~ don't agree with it sometimes ~ so I pick and choose 'my battles' as best I can ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^ artmusedog

  3. They are still learning cursive here in local schools but much less emphasis on it

  4. i agree with you! but i guess todays world is so technological - all done with keyboards. there is something to be said for the olden days of readig, writing and arithmetic.

  5. Nice post, B.B. I suppose even the younger teachers say 'why do these kids need to learn penmanship?' I never learned good penmanship, I hated that part of school.

    Probably because I am not coordinated, it shows up in athletics too. But I am coordingated in mechanical skills like putting nuts on screws, pounding nails, etc.
    Figure? XD

    One thing I chide my relatives and other people I know is for bad SPELLING. There is no excuse for that except for lazy spell checking without use of the word processor.

    Jim's Alphabe-Thursday[2] posts

  6. Love this post and couldn't agree with you more! I well remember the double lined paper and large pencils we used to practice all those loops...and being a quilter who loves antique quilts and the gorgeous script that one can find on many blocks reminds me how far the generations have grown away from legible writing. My own Dad is almost 95 and his handwriting (learned the Palmer Method) is exquisite to this day...

  7. I remember the days of learning Cursive...

    It saddens me to think of the grandlittles not learning this in school...

    Cool post for the letter C...

    Thanks for linking.