Do Kids Learn More By Writing Instead of Typing?

I taught my kids to print and to write in cursive, but I also encouraged them to compose on a keyboard.

When I was a teen, I learned to compose my work on the typewriter at a journalism camp, and I found it to be much more efficient. So having kids in the computer age, it seemed like a no-brainer to teach them to type so they could type their essays on the computer. Besides, writing things out in cursive seemed so time-consuming and old-school.

Now I’m rethinking my stance. A recent scientific study showed that kids learned more by reading and writing by hand than by reading and then composing on a keyboard. Apparently the extra time it takes to write something by hand instead of typing it gives the brain a chance to absorb everything better. This makes sense to me.

I”m curious: what do you think?

Growing Up to Be a Rock Star (Rant Warning)

Does this photo from a Christmas ad bug you the way it bugs me? I just hate that our society promotes being a rock star to little children.

I mean, think about what we’re saying to our little people when we push this stuff on them:

It’s important to be the center of attention.

It’s important to be cool.

It’s important to gain the adulation of others.

(And we wonder why kids are so spoiled and demanding these days.)

As if that wasn’t bad enough, don’t parents care that they’re encouraging their children to emulate people who dress like bums and hookers, smoke pot (and worse) until their brain cells are fried, and pickle their livers because they’re drunk so much of the time?

Seriously, do these parents look at their little darlings and think, “Maybe she’ll be the next Lady Gaga!”?

So few people seem to care about developing good character in their children anymore. It’s all about fame and fortune and having a good time. How sad.

(Rant over.)

Women Who Had It All

Twenty years ago, British journalist Valerie Grove decided to interview women who “had it all” for at least 25 years. She defined having it all as:

“…they had to have been married for more than 25 years and have had three or more children, as well as a brilliant career.”

She turned her findings into a book, The Compleat Woman: Marriage, Motherhood, Career – Can She Have It All? Her conclusion was that it was very rare for a woman to be able to successfully juggle a husband, children and successful career.

Now, a British newspaper has marked the twentieth anniversary of the book’s publication by going back and interviewing some of the women whose lives were chronicled in it to see if they think it’s gotten any easier to “have it all.” The very interesting (and lengthy) article is worth reading, but if you’re pressed for time, I’d like to share a couple of key points these women now make, as they look back on their lives from the vantage point of old age. Continue reading

One-on-One Time

As I said a few weeks ago, sometimes we do school in the summer, and sometimes we don’t. But in both cases, we have a much more relaxed schedule. It certainly helps that the church cuts back on activities for the summer, as does our homeschool group.

A looser schedule lets moms spend more one-on-one time with each child. Having four children, I found that I often looked at them as a group; the laid-back feeling of summer seemed to give me permission to take time alone with each of them, and we sure enjoyed that.

How to spend that time? That was never a problem with the girls. My eldest loved to go shopping with me, while my younger daughter preferred time spent doing something together, like baking or sewing.

As for the boys, my older son wasn’t as interested in spending time alone with good old Mom as he was having her take him somewhere he wanted to go or to get something he wanted without the whole gang trooping along. And that was fine; I learned that even time spent sitting in traffic and talking uninterrupted was good for both of us.

My younger son was used to having alone time with me every week because I drove him to a speech therapist an hour away. We’d sing in the car and stop for McDonald’s somewhere en route, and that was enough for him. However, he was also very happy to have my full attention on those rare occasions when my husband took the older three to an amusement park for the day, or the movies for an afternoon.

Spending time alone with your children, one on one, helps your relationship with each of them grow in a different way than when the whole group is together. Summertime is the perfect time to start a routine of occasional one-on one-time. Why not give it a try?