First Christmas Concert

Monday, December 14, 2009

I’m a little late getting this posted but Liam performed at his first Christmas program last week.   He sang with all of the 3 year old’s at his daycare in front of their families.   After the program was over, the children joined their parents for lunch.

(For those of you reading this who’re still working on your adoption paperwork or are in the waiting stage, don’t give up, these sort of payoffs are countless!)

Needless to say, our little songbird was thrilled to see us in the audience and kept waving and saying "Hi Momma!" during the concert and my heart just melted seeing him up there so happy.   Check out his performance in the video below (he’s on the front row, on the far right in the blue vest):

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2 Years Ago Today...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Today (December 3rd) marks our 2nd Metcha anniversary.   That is, it was two years ago today that we met our precious son for the first time in Podolsk, Russia.   I had no idea at the time how much that moment would change me forever and, just like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes that day and hasn’t stopped growing since.

In the past two years, we’ve really become a family and our baby that we brought home is becoming an independent not-so-little boy.   I’m so proud of him and thankful every day that God chose us to be his parents.

Dec. 3, 2007
Metcha Day 2007

Dec. 2009

Family Xmas 2009

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Food For Thought: Kids Cuisine

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Inspiring & passionate, Chef Ann Cooper (a.k.a. the Renegade Lunch Lady) has spearheaded a dramatic overhaul in the school lunch programs in Berkley, CA.   She’s on a mission to change the way children eat and transform cafeterias into culinary classrooms.   Don’t be put off by her intensity — she’s just very outraged and committed to getting the word out about how our childrens’ nutritional needs are being so poorly addressed in school.

Check out Ann Cooper’s blog and also follow Ann Cooper on Twitter to keep up with all of her latest happenings.

Of course, some of Ann’s ideas may not work universally.   Sure, fresh regional veggies & fruits are abundant in California, but locally-grown, organic produce isn’t necessarily so readily available in other parts of the country.   Still, consider the benefits for children of applying even a few of Ann’s progressive changes.

What’re your thoughts on school lunches and kids’s nutritional needs?   Do you believe schools are doing enough already?   To be entered in the book drawing at the end of this Food For Thought week, just leave a comment!

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Big Boy Bed

Monday, August 24, 2009

Liam made the transition from his baby bed to a "big boy" bed this past weekend.   He was so excited when they delivered the bed on Saturday morning!   We temporarily moved the baby bed to other side of his room (just in case) but he kept insisting that we get it out of there because he’s a big boy now.

He did really well with his nap Saturday afternoon and then slept all that night (with only one roll-off mishap).   Luckily his giant, fluffy bear Hugo "caught" him when he rolled off the bed at 5:30 on Sunday morning.   Rob bought a couple of swimming pool foam noodles that we put under the fitted sheet on each side of the bed to create bumpers for the sides and that seems to have solved the rolling off problem.

twin-size bed

After naptime yesterday, we decided to take the old crib apart and Liam even helped remove screws with the cordless drill and bag up the little pieces.

The headboard is still in transit and we haven’t installed the bedskirt yet so I’ll update this post with another picture when all of that’s in place.

Update:   The ready-to-assemble headboard finally arrived so here’s the completed bed with headboard, noodles and bedskirt all in place:

twin-size bed

We’ve also finally updated the Liam’s bedroom page with some photos and details of his room.   Be sure to take a peek!

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Five Little Monkeys With a Tragic Ending

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Since moving up into Ms. Gloria’s 3-4 Year Olds class at daycare this month, Liam has been learning a whole new set of songs.   I think we’ve heard Five Little Monkeys Swinging In a Tree about 20 times every day this week.   And the practice is paying off, because he’s nearly got all the words memorized — and has even started embellishing it with other details as you’ll see in the video below.   Enjoy!

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"C" is for Cookie

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yesterday, we went to the Healthy Kids Fun Day at Floyd Gwyn Park sponsored in part by MCH.   Cookie Monster and The Biscuit Brothers were there to entertain the kids.   I wasn’t sure how they were going to promote Cookie Monster as "healthy" but they pulled it off with saying that besides cookies, he also loves all kinds of vegetables and healthy food.   Ok, sure, I bought into that.

I wasn’t expecting much from The Biscuit Brothers since I’d never heard of them before but I was pleasantly surprised.   They were quite entertaining and the kids loved them.   They sang and interacted with the kids doing silly dances and songs.   If you have the opportunity, you should check them out!

Next up was Cookie Monster.   I felt sorry for him with all that hair in the 100+ Texas heat.   You would’ve thought he was a big enough celebrity that they could have kept him in an air conditioned building!   The first time we stood in line to see him, we didn’t make it to the front of the line before they shut it down. He had to take a break so we had to wait another hour for him to come back.   We made it through the line the second time and here’s a short video of Liam living his dream and giving Cookie Monster a big hug:

Some of the other kids left the line crying over being frightened by a giant, hairy, blue monster that entices you to like him by eating cookies, but not our boy; Liam knows no fear and would gladly take on any of the creatures that live on Sesame Street!


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Liam's First Dentist Appointment

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Liam had his first dentist appointment last Wednesday.   I started preparing him for what to expect a few days in advance and he was very excited about meeting this Dentist doctor person.

For days he talked about going to the dentist and the morning of the big day, he woke up all excited.   As we sat in the waiting room, he announced proudly (and loudly) that he wanted to see the dentist.

As expected, when he got to the room, he turned bashful, had nothing to say, and buried his head into my chest.   He barely looked at the dentist out of the corner of he eyes when he came into the room.   I put him into the "big" chair and he was one scared little boy but fortunately, he didn’t cry.

We’ve been pretty diligent about teethbrushing being a part of each evening’s bedtime prep and it seems that our routine is paying off.   Once the dentist coaxed him into opening his mouth like an alligator, he said that Liam’s teeth looked good.   He’s hoping that after a few more visits Liam will be comfortable enough to let him take x-rays.   For now though, we’ll just keep on brushing!

Liam at the dentist



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Command Nonperformance

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Michigan J. FrogDede, Ashley & I were griping outside the daycare yesterday that we can never get our kids to repeat in public the latest especially cute or impressive thing they’ve been doing at home.   I suspect getting kids to perform on cue is a universal problem all parents face.   In fact it seems however much you’d like your child to recite or reenact some cool thing, that’s exactly inversely proportional to the likelihood that he/she will actually do so.

I call this the Michigan J. Frog syndrome.

Well after I made that comment, Dede was blown away that I even knew the name of that silly singing frog from the old Saturday morning Looney Tunes cartoons.   Furthermore, she insisted that there’s no way anyone else would ever catch such an obscure reference.   Ah, but I know that if all else fails, there’s at least one guy who would — without hesitation — know precisely what I was talking about.

So this post is for you, Pete C.!

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Generation Z - The Natives Are Restless

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I’m sure you’ve heard of the demographic groups "Generation X" and "Generation Y" — and there’s a good chance that you fall into one of those two — but did you know there’s also a category for our kids: "Generation Z."   While there’s some contention about the exact start & end years, this generation generally consists of children born after 1995 and will cut off at 2021.   (Some insist that this group begins in 2001 and accordingly, label it the "9-11 Generation.")

However you define it, today’s kids will be the most connected generation ever in terms of technology and on a worldwide scale.   They will have never known a world without the Internet, notebook PCs, digital cameras, iPods, DVDs, & cellular phones.   They will have never known life without MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and a vast sea of other social media stuff that many of us are only just now tentatively dipping a toe into.   Generation Z children are, in other words, digital natives.   Or to put it another way...

Your child is a digital native but you’ll forever be a digital immigrant.

I recently ran across those terms from Marc Prensky and the concept really stuck with me.   It’s been such a pervasive notion that it’s prompted lots of introspection & raised some very interesting questions.

I’m amazed by how appropriate the concept is, especially thinking in terms of literal immigrants who come to America, with the barriers for entry and the subsequent difficulties that they face once here.   As I’ve mulled this over, I keep remembering movies & TV shows where immigrants and/or their children were central to the stories.   Thinking the similarities between the concepts of national and digital immigrants, I’m forced to wonder:

  • Is my thick immigrant accent coming through when I rail against cell phone text messaging?   (A phone, after all, is for talking to someone else!)

  • Is refusing to add a DVD player in my car a bit like clinging to archaic Old World values that’re out of place in today’s society?

  • By not embracing MySpace, satellite radio, or streaming movies, am I like an aggravatingly stubborn immigrant who struggles with (or simply chooses to remain mostly ignorant of) English language?

  • Do my arguments that technology is making us impatient and short-sighted seem like quaint, cranky ramblings about how things were back in the "Old Country?"

What about you — what do you think of the concept of digital natives vs. immigrants?   Do you see how it applies to you?

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Monday, October 27, 2008

I’ve recently read a number of blog posts referencing a new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which suggests that cell phones benefit families by allowing them to stay more regularly in touch even when they are not physically together.   But I just don’t know...

baby using a cell phoneIsn’t this just another case of today’s parents falling into that "My kids should have it better than I did" snare?   I’ve mentioned before that I think our society is carelessly immersing our children in needless technology.   Sure, I want my child to have every advantage possible, but the thing is, I’ve yet to see anything that convinces me that more technology equals better learning or a better life for kids.   In fact, the hyperactive and tech-laden lifestyle that’s prevalent these days could actually be breaking down the family unit and hindering the quality of our childrens’ lives.

I tend to believe that cell phones actually rob children of their independence & rationale.   Kids today are no longer prompted to think about or mentally map out what they’ll be doing for the remainder of the day as they head out the door.   Instead, they wander aimlessly off into the day, knowing that they’re never more than a button-press away from Mom or Dad who’ll swoop in and rescue them at the last minute.   Rather than having to figure out problems on their own — and in the process become self-sufficient — kids simply "text" Mom and get an immediate answer.   Cell phones are stripping away any need for children to reason through and try to resolve their own situations.

Prior generations of children grew up healthy & happy without all of this instantaneous communication, yet everyone now seems to feel that they "need" constant connectivity just to survive.   What’s your take on this?   Do you (or will you) provide your child a cell phone?   Do you worry that this is just another symptom of helicopter parenting?

* Text-Message Translation:   Too much information, no thinking necessary

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Paris Hilton Shall NOT Be In Attendance

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Baking For the Birthday Boy

Dede's homemade cupcakesLiam is turning the big "2" tomorrow so in preparation for the occasion, Dede got all domesticated today and baked not only a coupla dozen cupcakes for his daycare class, but also a big cake, complete with artful writing & sprinkles, for a little family gathering that we had today.

Yes, that’s right Brad D. & Glenda, we’re not total sticks in the mud — we do let Liam have sweets from time to time.   And even though he’ll be turning 2 years old tomorrow, this’ll be the first time he’s ever had a birthday party, so this certainly qualifies as a sweets-worthy occasion!

Watch our Russian Adoption Journal blog for highlights & photos of the big event!

Have Birthdays Jumped the Shark?

And on the topic of birthdays, Dede & I have been noticing that there’s a definite trend towards increasingly extravagant children’s birthday parties.   Renting a traveling petting zoo, reserving private time at a water park, a block party complete with a DJ spinning kids’ music...   These soirees costing hundreds of dollars or more are arranged by ordinary, otherwise well-meaning, mere mortals like us or you — not whackadoo celebrities in LA-LA-Land for whom money is no object.

University of Minnesota social science professor William Doherty has founded an online campaign called Birthdays Without Pressure to shed a little light on the excesses that seem to have overtaken today’s birthday parties & offer resources to help combat the intense pressure that some parents say they’re under to ramp up for these behemoth birthday bashes for their kids.   The website offers some great ideas for low-key, low-cost, low-stress birthdays that’re still fun for all involved.

Do you think childrens’ birthday parties are beginning to become excessive?   Have you encountered a birthday bash that seemed over-the-top?

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March ’08 Blogtipping

Monday, March 10, 2008

Blogtipping iconMarch marks the 1st anniversary of Blogtipping here on 2Dolphins.   I’ve enjoyed being able to offer a little tip o’ the hat each month to a few fellow bloggers.   If you know of a blogger who deserves a little extra attention, be sure to post a comment!

Still cruising along on the parental theme, this month’s Blogtipping highlights 3 blogs I’ve discovered recently that’re for dads.   Many of us dads don’t have the advantage of the instinctive parenting know-how that most of our wives seem to have, so we can use all the help we can get!

Dad Balance Digest by Derek Semmler is a resource for , & discussions for Dads who’re struggling to find a healthy balance between career & family.   Derek offers:
  1. Practical tips & advice for making the most of your "family time."
  2. Relatable & funny stories to help drive home key points or ideas.
  3. Easy to navigate site & RSS feed makes it easy to keep up with the latest posts.
  • Tip: I enjoyed the interviews with well-known bloggers like Darren Rowse & Leo Babauta.   I’d like to see more of these!
MetroDad is less about offering advise or pointers but more about sharing stories from the battlefield that is fatherhood:
  1. MD seems to be from that cusp between the "Baby Boomers" and "Generation X," so his stories are very relatable.
  2. MD’s anecdotes are hilarious!
  3. Add the blog’s feed to your RSS reader and you can stay up-to-date easily.
  • Tip: I believe MD is working on some design changes that’ll bring a fresh look to the site.
noodad from Gregory Ng & Mike Schneider is a blog for new dads who’re looking for a little guidance — or just other dads to sympathize with.   With a site logo that’s a baby bottle morphing into a beer bottle, what more do ya need?   It’s worth a look because:
  1. Practical advice & tips for us newbie dads.
  2. Great product reviews!
  3. Hot celebrity mom polls!
  • Tip: Hey guys, please add a category on your sidebar for product reviews to make ’em a bit easier to find those articles!

As a bonus, I’ve just got to mention DadLabs again.   The videoblogs that these crazy dads from Austin crank out are not just insightful & informative, but they’re also freakin’ hilarious!

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Free Loot for Moms

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Momsational logoI discovered Erika Jurney’s Momsational earlier this week and just had to share this.   The site features contests, coupons, & other free stuff for Moms.   Typically, all you have to do to enter the giveaways is simply leave a comment on the contest post.   And you can subscribe via RSS feed or have the frequent updates delivered right to your email inbox!


Posted by Dede at 7:26 PM 1 comments links to this post

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February ’08 Blogtipping - Parentipping

Monday, February 04, 2008

Blogtipping iconAs prospective new parents, Dede & I tried to do whatever we could to prepare for this new role.   We took classes, read books, subscribed to magazines, and along the way, we also discovered a number of great blogs & web sites that offer loads of parenting innovations, insights, & inspiration.   Since February 1st was our official Gotcha Day, it seemed only appropriate to use this month’s Blogtipping post to showcase parenting blogs...

(Giving credit where it’s rightfully due, "Blogtipping" was coined by Easton Ellsworth over at Business BlogWire as an opportunity to say three nice things — and offer one suggestion for improvement — to three well-deserving fellow bloggers.)

ParentHacks from Asha Dornfest is one of Dede’s favorite blogs that offers, in their own words, "parenting tips from the real experts: actual parents."   I love the fun Swiss Army knife-inspired logo, but what really keeps us coming back is:
  1. The wealth of tips, tricks, & techniques that every parent — seasoned pros & newbies, alike — can use.
  2. Frequent updates means there’s always something fresh & new to discover!
  3. RSS subscription option makes keeping up-to-date with the site a breeze!
  • Tip: I can’t think of a single suggestion for improving this blog, so just get over there & check it out!
FamilyHack from Michael Davis & (naturally) his family features some great parenting tips.   I’ve refered to Michael’s blog before, but it’s worth mentioning again because of:
  1. Great articles with very practical & applicable pointers.
  2. Great travel tips from someone who’s obviously been there & back!
  3. Great videos with parenting tips & tricks.
  • Tip: What’s not to like?   I’m hoping that the Davis family has even more opportunities to add great content in ’08.
Healthy Children by Dr. Steven Parker on the WebMD site is a recent discovery but I’m finding that I really like his take on pediatric health issues & child-raising topics because:
  1. He doesn’t just go along with established notions without first doing some in-depth review.
  2. His posts cover a broad range, so there’s a wealth of info in the archives.
  3. You can subscribbe to the weekly articles via RSS feed.
  • Tip: The search feature on Dr. Parker’s blog is a little clunky and sometimes doesn’s seem very effective.

Now it’s your turn!   Is there a parenting or family-related blog site that you love?   Post a comment and share it with us!

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Dos & Don’ts With Babies

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sensing that we’ll need all the help we can get as first-time parents, Candy K. thoughtfully sent us a link that outlines some key safe baby handling tips.

Warning:   The illustrations on this linked page are milk-snorting-thru-your-nose hilarious so click with caution!

          Dos and Don’ts With Babies

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Talking Toys

Friday, November 30, 2007

Learning toyAs Christmas approaches, Dede & I have been talking quite a bit about toys for our new tot.   And I was further prompted to ponder on this by a blog post by Bob over at every, every minute.   A few main topics surfaced as we reflected back on our childhood toys...

Maybe Less Is More

Both of our families were of meager incomes when we were kids, so birthday & Christmas gifts were sparse.   And yet, we’ve decided that because we weren’t showered with dozens of toys the way kids are now, the toys we did receive were more meaningful, more special, and certainly more treasured...   I’d be very interested to hear your views on this — does anyone else think that, in an an unconscious effort to show our love for our kids, we shower them with far too many gifts & toys?

Favorite Toys

So maybe it’s precisely because we had a limited number of toys that some of those really stand out for us even today.   For me, these were:
  • My first bicycle — It took awhile, but once I learned to ride a bike, it was more than transport, it was sweet freedom on swift wheels!   (Thank you Thomas Latham, wherever you are!)
  • Legos — One of those odd skills that I possess is a keen knack for spatial relationships. I can often rearrange the furniture in a room mentally and know whether it’s going to fit before ever lifting a thing.   And I’m a packing guru — Dede just sets out what she wants packed & stands back.   A great deal of this, I attribute to Legos & other "building" toys.
  • G.I. Joes — the classic 12" dudes, with Kung-Fu grip, of course!

For Dede, the standout toys included:
  • Easy Bake Oven — Those little cakes were so awesome, but I always got so frustrated waiting on them to finish cooking (and cooling) so the door would unlock!
  • Bicycle — the ultimate Christmas gift, so huge it wouldn’t even fit under the tree, and it magically appeared in the middle of the night.
  • Baby First Step — she graciously volunteered to be the guinea pig for (and put a quick end to) my dreams of becoming a hairdresser.

Tots Don’t Need Tech

A subject I revisit frequently is how much technology should we introduce to young children.   As a parent-to-be, I fully identify with those who want their kids to have the educational advantages of computers & techie stuff, but I’m not convinced that high-tech equals better learning.   I’ve yet to see any real proof that today’s teched-out kids are any better-equipped for their future than kids were 10 years ago when there wasn’t all of this pressure to teach computers to little children.   Now, I’m not suggesting we should deprive our little ones the chance to build computer-use skills — only that we resist the temptation to make that a primary educational focus.   I’m convinced that tactile toys are still far more mind-expanding than technological ones.

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OLPC Teaches the Birds and the Bees

Monday, July 23, 2007

OLPC notebook PC being shown to childrenOh yeah.   The MIT wonks gushed over the educational potential of their One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program, but somehow, I don'’t think this is quite the "educational opportunity" they had in mind...

Via Gecko & Fly, I read a Reuters news article reporting that a pilot group of Nigerian schoolchildren who received some of the first OLPC notebook PCs have been caught using them to explore pornographic sites on the Internet.

Well, sure enough, that is educational...

An OLPC representative pledged that the computers will now be fitted with content filters.   Of course, installing safeguards to ensure that these PCs cannot freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials is vital — and I’m baffled how this was overlooked to begin with.   But there are core-level, big-ticket issues that’re far beyond this embarrassing incident.   For me, there are two separate but equally important concerns:

First, should we really be in such a hurry to place computers in Third World childrens' hands when basic survival needs have not first been met?   While I appaud the good intentions & ideals behind this project — namely, to provide educational opportunities for children who’ve not had them before — I’m still convinced that the money would be better spent establishing self-sustaining agriculture, sewage & water systems, and/or disease prevention & cure rather than on PCs.   I’m not advocating quick-fix handouts - I’m talking about helping these people build infrastructures needed to become self-reliant.

Second, as I’ve wondered before, do computers magically equate to better learning (or life) for children?   As a parent-to-be, I’m nervous about how computer-use skills are being made a priority for very young kids.   Are we wise to so casually rush to acclimate children - impoverished or otherwise - to the digital world?   And in doing so, are we robbing them of real world learning opportunities?

What’s your take on the OLPC project?

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Low-Tech Learning Leaps Ahead

Friday, May 11, 2007

Baby & notebook PCOn The Bamboo Project Blog, Michele Martin recently noted an article Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops from The New York Times.   Although she cited this as a prime example of how technology cannot create change if culture remains unchanged, but there’s also an underlying theme that echoes one of my chief arguments against MIT’s OLPC project.   The article observes that many schools that had launched programs to provide laptop computers are now reconsidering because they seem to have no impact on student achievement.

Author Winnie Hu referenced studies showing no real difference on state test scores in schools with laptops - although some data suggest better math class performance from high-achieving students with laptops than those without.

Diehard proponents insist these programs are failing simply because teachers haven’t been trained to integrate the use of this technology into their classes.   But when 6 of one of the study’s control group schools (ones whose students didn’t have laptops) were offered computers this year, they opted not to accept them.

As I’ve commented before, I worry about making computer-use skills a priority for kids.   Could computers, in fact, be a barrier to kids learning to think creatively and solve problems?   Are we naive to assume that technology will magically equate to a more efficient learning environment for children?   Does this concern anyone else?   Post a comment!

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Adoption Journal Finally Online

Sunday, January 14, 2007

We've added a new menu tab along the top of our site for Our Adoption Journal. This is a project that I've had in the works for quite awhile to document our Russian adoption journey. I finally got it caught up this morning & ready to share with everyone.

Be sure to check out the "Resources" page for lots of links to useful adoption & parenting websites, books, & other info that we've gathered.

Our plan is to use the journal to keep everyone up to date with what's going on with our adoption preparation and also update it while in Russia instead of sending out tons of emails.

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The Handwriting Is On the Wall

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Several months back, I ranted a bit about the disturbing trend for elementary schools to stop teaching cursive writing as a mandatory part of their curriculum.   Then just a few days ago, I came across Margaret Webb Pressler’s Washington Post editorial "The Handwriting Is On the Wall" that suggests that handwriting makes a qualitative difference in what is written, not just how it is written:
The loss of handwriting also may be a cognitive opportunity missed.   The neurological process that directs thought, through fingers, into written symbols is a highly sophisticated one.   Several academic studies have found that good handwriting skills at a young age can help children express their thoughts better — a lifelong benefit.
I’m in support of continuing to teach kids handwriting, not because it’s necessarily all that vital to have pretty penmanship, (although as someone who does not have said, I certainly see the value in that) but because I think kids are being robbed of the opportunity to develop an important skillset.   It may also be worth considering that if we neglect to teach kids to write cursively, we’re also hindering their ability to read cursive writing, which could definitely be a setback later in life.

Increasingly, schools are phasing out handwriting to make more time for teaching technology, foreign languages, and, in particular, materials needed to pass standardized tests.   Pressler notes that those few schools where handwriting is still taught generally drop that from their curriculum after the 3rd grade.   And given the choice — although I’m totally baffled why they would be — most kids quickly abandon the struggle to continue developing handwriting skills in favor of keyboarding, which most have been doing since kindergarten.

Lastly, consider this:   Sure, as one technology becomes common, older ones lose their place in society — so keyboards have largely relegated paper & pen to the dustbin.   But one of the newest waves of personal computers, tablet PCs, may actually bring about a renewed demand for handwriting.   Pen-driven tablet PCs easily and accurately read handwritten input — in fact, the adaptive nature of the Windows-based tablet OS allows the device to continually improve its handwriting recognition.   Maybe 20 years from now, we’ll show someone a keyboard and they’ll wonder what it does...


Posted by Rob at 7:04 AM 2 comments links to this post

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How Much Tech For Tots?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Image of baby using a computerThis week’s edition of Deb Shinder’s WXPnews featured an editorial that centered around Jodi Upton’s short essay Handwriting on The Wall for Cursive.   It seems the growing trend is for elementary schools to stop teaching cursive writing as a mandatory part of their curriculum and, like Deb, I’m both surprised and saddened by this.

Unquestionably, I believe there’s no price you can place on the value of teaching children handwriting.   But there’s an underlying issue at stake that’s even bigger than that.   It’s the ever-increasing emphasis on making computer-use skills a priority at such an early age that truly disturbs me. That kids now start using computers in kindergarten is just a bit stunning.   Seems to me that kids need time to just be kids.   They need to learn how to interact with the world around them and develop social skills.   Since I don’t yet have a parent’s perspective, maybe I’m off the mark, but isn’t it more important that kids learn to doodle with crayons or play ball before they learn Powerpoint, video games and/or instant messaging?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a bona fide techno-junkie and I love my PC, iPod, DVR, & other electronic goodies.   And I’m certainly in favor of teaching keyboarding skills in school — nearly every day, I see firsthand how not being able to type well hinders people in the workplace.   But I’m tentative about introducing computers into kids’ lives at too early an age.   The next generation will be enslaved by technology to a degree that we may not even be able to fully forsee.   Computers will undoubtedly dominate nearly every facet of their lives.   So, maybe we need to make sure kids have ample opportunities to learn how to exist & succeed in the real world before thrusting them headlong into the inescapable cyber-world.

What do you think?   Post a comment!

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