The Alphabet Wall by
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The Alphabet Wall

As you’ve surely noticed, when the last few generations of kids write,  they use block letters,  never cursive.

In fact they don’t know how to write in cursive because unlike us Boomers,   they’ve never been taught.   Apparently over the years the pedagogical powers-that-be have decreed that penmanship and cursive writing were skills that are no longer needed to communicate in this tech age,  and in most school districts across the country they‘ve disappeared from the elementary school curriculum.

So instead of a cursive story,   here’s a block letters tale.

When our son Noah was in kindergarten I bought a sheet of colorful, stick-on alphabet letters in both lower and upper case.   But as the kitchen fridge was already covered with magnets and  photos and the kid’s artwork,  I decided to stick the alphabet letters on the tiled wall in the bathroom opposite Noah’s bedroom.  He was just leaning to read and write and was delighted with his new  “alphabet wall”.

One day when I was elsewhere in the apartment I heard Noah going back and forth from his bedroom to the bathroom.   Puzzled,  I went to investigate and found him in his room laboring over a sheet of paper,  a colored marker in his hand.

I watched him ponder over a word or letter,  then get up to hurry across the hall to the bathroom,  consult his alphabet wall,  and then hurry back to continue writing!

Those alphabet letters are long gone from that bathroom wall,  and that kindergarten kid is long grown.  In fact Noah’s now a very good writer,  altho I’ve noticed he only uses cursive to sign his name.

And to tell the truth,  all anyone of his generation needs to communicate these days is a pair of opposable thumbs,  LOL!

– Dana Susan Lehrman 

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Alphabet, Childhood


  1. Smooth transition from cursive to block lettering, Dee!

    Who knew opposable thumbs would come in so handy for yet another task, yet for some reason I can’t seem to master it. I hate to say it, but I’m all thumbs. (groan)

  2. Marian says:

    That’s adorable, Dana, and the learning ability and curiosity of small kids always amazes me. As far as texting, I can’t text with my thumbs and have a phone with a stylus, with which I hunt and peck. On the computer, I touch type.

  3. Suzy says:

    Very sweet description of Noah running back and forth between his bedroom and the bathroom to check out the letters. The alphabet wall was obviously a brilliant idea. And to add to the survey, I use my right pointer finger when I am texting, I don’t understand why all the kids use their thumbs.

  4. John Shutkin says:

    Lovely story, Dana. I am wondering if Noah also became an accomplished long distance runner due to all of his bedroom-to-bathroom-and back spelling shuttles.

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    Cute story, Dana. Good point that all my grandkids need to communicate are their thumbs. I never mastered that technique and still hunt and peck with my index finger to text. Actually, I use dictation more these days and then apply my pointer-finger technique to correct the sometimes quite funny errors.

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