The Dumbing Down of Americans

I’m not a paranoid person, but I do know, after living all these years, that sometimes people really are “out to get you”. I’ve been in the education field most of my life, and I’ve seen trends come and go. However, a couple of the things I see lately disturb me. It makes me ask “Is someone trying to dumb down Americans?”

The most recent idea I read about yesterday is the decision to quit teaching cursive writing in our schools. Do you mean that instead of learning code or a foreign language, all anyone has to do is write in cursive and Americans will not be able to read it? And we are blindly agreeing to this? http://news.yahoo.com/cursive-writing-dead-162632387.html

One of the “logics” in that article is that if you know how to type on a keyboard or can print, you don’t need the additional burden of learning to write in cursive. Really? When many of our historical documents are written in cursive, Americans don’t need to be able to read them? For that is the problem with abandoning cursive writing. Not only will Americans not be able to do this, but they also will not be able to read cursive writing.

I would advise any parent, or grandparent, uncle, aunt, family friend, to find a way to teach their child to write in cursive. Not only is it important for the reasons I’ve stated, but it “may also boost brain activity, according to a 2010 study finding that preschool students who wrote out letters rather than just viewing them showed changes in brain activity when they later viewed those letters.”

The way I would teach cursive writing is to try to find a book, perhaps on Amazon.com, that teaches it. Then I would follow the lessons in that book. Another way, without the book, would be to sit with the child and teach him a letter each time he mastered the one I’d just taught. I’d start with a and o, as they are easy to form, as are e and l. I would be prepared to teach one letter a session. With luck, I’d be able to teach 3 or 4.

The notion that the keyboard replaces cursive writing is absurd. How many times have you needed something just to be told that “the computer is down”? I know you can type on a computer when the internet is down. But electricity also goes off.

It never hurts to know more than one way to do things. In fact, it usually helps.

The other thing I’ve read about recently is how sugar damages your child. Sugar is a brain food. Your child needs sugar. Yes, s/he gets excited about sugar and candy. We all get excited about our favorite foods. I don’t advocate giving a child all the sugar s/he wants. But I certainly condemn the notion that any sugar will hurt your child. There have been studies done showing that sugar increases abilities when given just before a test.

I also read yesterday that they have decided “sugar causes wrinkles”. I am frequently told how good my skin looks for a person my age. I am asked what I use on it. I have always eaten sugar. I avoid the cancer causing sugar substitutes. I function better mentally after a little sugar. It has not damaged my skin. So that’s the second thing to consider when asking if someone is trying to dumb down Americans? First they tried to take sugar from children. Now they’re discouraging Americans – especially us vain women – from eating sugar.

Think for yourself. Consider what I’ve written. Consider what you’re told by whoever tells Americans things through the media. Do your own experiments. Try to do a page of math problems. Now, eat two cookies, or a few m and m’s and try to do another page. Which do you do more quickly? (I did tell you to time yourself, didn’t I? No? I haven’t had any sugar yet today.)

Things are happening in America to change our culture. We didn’t get great by believing everything we were told. Americans thought and questioned. That’s how we gained our freedom and became the great country we are. Question what you’re told. There is such a thing as American propaganda. Begin to notice it.

Eat your sugar, write in cursive. That’s what I’m going to do.

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