Have you ever noticed how excellent children are at typing? They knew the proper position for their fingers and they can type quickly. However, it is surprising to see that they can barely write their own names when handed a pencil and paper. It really should not come as a shock, though. Consider the technology available to children today. They live in a time of email, cell phones, internet, and text messages. They receive information and feedback instantly whenever they desire it. Why would they handwrite? This generation is the first that could feasibly leave no written record of itself. Think about the personal emails you send or receive. Do you ever print them out? Neither do the kids.
Letter writing should not be a thing in the past! When you delete an email or text message it is gone. A letter can be saved and read later, by you or your great grandchildren. There are countless number of books and great historical insight that has been gained from reading old letters. This is because letters are more reflective. They are personal. Handwritten notes reveal deeper feelings and emotions and are generally thought out. They take longer to write than any electronic correspondence, so they are more introspective than the traditional email. Sadly, some kids do not even contemplate these things outside of the occasional homework assignment.
There is something to be said for patience and waiting. Life is not about getting exactly what you want when you want it. Delayed gratification is a good thing, sometimes. Text messages have provided kids with a way to get answers to questions immediately. Cell phones provide communication regardless of where you are. Letters are a great way to teach patience to children. When you write a letter you do not get an answer instantly. You can go to the mailbox each day in anticipation. Amongst the junk mail and bills there might actually be a note in response. What a feeling to get something good in the mail! They give that feeling of excitement and surprise to someone else when they send a letter. If they get one in response, they get to see their name and address in print. They also get that good feeling of knowing that someone took the time to think of them and sit down and personally pen a letter, in return.