DR. WALLACE: I’m a young grandma in my late 40s, and my 7-year-old granddaughter just told me how happy she is that school is back on in person in the classroom.
My granddaughter was using her computer to do her reading and homework; she is really a smart young lady! I’m amazed at what these children can do with their computers at such a young age. When I asked her how she signs her name, she told me she doesn’t sign her name anywhere; she just prints it out. I then took a piece of paper and signed my full legal name and showed it to her. She told me that she does not know how to write her name that way; all she can do is print her name in crude letters.
I was shocked to find out that she didn’t even know what cursive writing was, much less how to do it. — Young Granny, via email
YOUNG GRANNY: It is true that many schools no longer teach cursive handwriting. Some think it’s a dated form of writing and the time spent on it could be better allocated elsewhere within a child’s overall education. However, some educators believe cursive writing is still useful, provides an important part of a curriculum and can improve children’s cognitive and visual skills.
Therefore, you’ll find pockets of school districts around our nation that still do teach cursive handwriting. In either case, there’s no doubt that with the prolific use of computers these days, handwriting skills of all kinds are used less and valued less than they were just a few decades ago.
AM I GOING TO FAIL IN LIFE?
DR. WALLACE: I just received my first semester grades, and I received a 3.0 average, which I thought was pretty good. My parents are very disappointed with my 3.0 and have told me in no uncertain terms that if I don’t get a 3.6 to 4.0 GPA pretty darn soon, I will become a huge failure in my life once I graduate. First of all, I hate being put under pressure this way regarding my grades and my GPA. Second of all, is what they are saying actually true? — Under Pressure, via email
UNDER PRESSURE: Your grades are an indication of what you learned about a particular subject and the level of mastery you were able to achieve within the time period that you attended that particular class. This does not mean that you stop learning the moment you walk out of the classroom; your mind is always absorbing and connecting new bits of information across many subjects as you go through your life.
The purpose of school is not only to learn about subject material, but also to learn how to think and develop mental skills in many areas. Consider a grade to be a snapshot photograph at the end of a semester, whereas your life is like a continuous video stream moving forward. I think a 3.0 GPA is very good, and you can and will improve your learning process as you go forward practicing and mastering your study skills.
Parents should refrain from placing too much pressure on their children regarding grades, and it is absolutely untrue to say that you will not be successful in your life if you don’t achieve an arbitrary GPA. Remember, many very successful people never even attended college, much less had a 3.6 GPA!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.