Should Cursive writing still be taught in school?

Jump to Last Post 1-15 of 15 discussions (31 posts)
  1. ChristinS profile image38
    ChristinSposted 9 years ago

    Should Cursive writing still be taught in school?

    My 15 year old son can barely sign his name in cursive and does all his writing in print and I find it maddening that kids aren't taught how to write well.  His writing is like reading that of an inattentive 5 year old, yet he's extremely bright and does very well in school lol.  Yes, I know we are in a modern age of computers, gizmos and gadgets, but isn't their something nice about handwriting? It's more personal and you can tell a lot about a person from how they write.  It's also hard to decipher this half print, semi cursive stuff young people do now.

  2. profamy profile image68
    profamyposted 9 years ago

    I'm a college professor, and my students have to type most of their work. When I do see their handwriting, it's almost always in print. As long as I can read it, I don't care how they write. A few (probably 1 in 20) have handwriting that's so bad I cannot read it at all. I don't see why they need to learn cursive for school anymore; we now use computers to make their work look professional.

    However, in my personal life, I do agree that there's something special about handwritten. I love handwritten notes and letters, though I don't care whether written in cursive or print.

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I guess I just have a love of cursive because it flows and is more artistic than block print.  I hope kids will learn decent handwriting skills there may come a day when they want to use it to impress someone with something personal again smile

    2. profile image53
      aharrisposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I got good at reading student writing, too, Amy, and among 400 or so students over time, had just 2 cases of bona fide dysgraphia.  Know how I knew?  Their writing was awful 100% of the time.  Others could write better with effort. Unfair, but true.

  3. lions44 profile image94
    lions44posted 9 years ago

    As the husband of a 3rd grade teacher, I say yes, it should still be taught in school. My wife is very frustrated by how many children can't write at all. It's one thing to have bad handwriting (me) and quite another to lack the ability. To write by hand is to celebrate 10,000 years of human achievement. It's both utilitarian and artistic. May as well give up painting or playing an instrument. That can all be done on a PC or tablet as well.  I guess it parallels the dimunition of the English language in general (and all languages) in today's 140 character age.  Computer-generated steno will so be the official language.   Great question.

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I so agree with this! It does seem like such a waste and the deterioration of not only writing, but the language as well - ugh.

  4. kj force profile image60
    kj forceposted 9 years ago

    Christine...I too have struggled with this issue, as I am helping in the raising of my G-C..
    they are straight A students and well rounded with numerous athletic activities . I have to agree though with the fact the computer era is upon us and will be their future. .texting , having it's own language,, spelling optional ( symbols .b/c , thx, etc ) the art of conversation is dying, so cursive and printing will probably become obsolete.
    Although, I already taught my G-C to do cursive before they started school...they have yet to use it and are now in Middle school, as Teachers don't require it...
    .Guess the old saying " you can tell a lot about a person from how they write " will go out the window with the bath water...Very interesting question and thought provoking....

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I hear you with the art of conversation. I find myself having to look up different sayings and abbreviations people use.  Sadly, the art of conversations do seem to be dying. How ironic in an information age we struggle to communicate.

  5. pagesvoice profile image74
    pagesvoiceposted 9 years ago

    Yes, cursive writing should still be taught in schools. Unfortunately, it is becoming a lost art form.

    My 12 year old grandson is a high honors student and yet when I write him notes in cards he has my daughter read them. He always says, "Grandpa, you know I can't read cursive." -sigh-

    My wife is still teaching school after 40+ years and gone are the chalkboards and those beautiful cursive alphabet letters hanging overhead. It is a reminder of the new age of Smart-boards, laptops and videos.

    I find it puzzling how we have mothballed cursive writing and yet put so much emphasis on the new math, considering everyone has a calculator on their iPhones now.

    Our children are being shortchanged. After all, who will be able to read the Declaration of Independence, old manuscripts or historic documents once cursive writing has died?

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Great point with the "new math" and calculators. It just doesn't make sense to me that we are allowing language and writing to become obsolete.  One day it will be one of those cool "forgotten" arts and maybe people will fall in love with it again.

  6. BruceDPrice profile image73
    BruceDPriceposted 9 years ago

    Yes. Don Potter, a phonics expert, wrote me a note where he said that learning to write is half of learning to read. I think Montessori came to the same insight.

    There is virtually a war against reading going on in many public schools and in a strange way, unrecognized by most people, getting rid of cursive is a part of that war. Forming the letters makes you more intimately aware of the details that, in time, make reading easy.

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Another excellent point. I went to private school and we had penmanship, phonics, and spelling all as separate courses. I've always been an excellent reader and I always credited the well-rounded focus on both reading/writing I received.

  7. tsmog profile image84
    tsmogposted 9 years ago

    Interesting question. It would seem to sign ones names it must be learned. I must offer a giggle + giggle my signature will change about the third time when signing paperwork. I always ponder if it is null and void because it looks so dissimilar to the first one.

    I began the sixth grade (Fall of '65) in California and finished in West Virginia. We printed in California. When arriving to W.Va. I was in a special Ed. class because I could not cursive write. All work had to be in cursive for the humanities classes with reports and etc. I did not fair well that year.

    Not sure why, but when in the seventh grade we had the option of which writing type to use. My grades improved immensely in the seventh grade. Typing became an option for extra points for the education process I followed with the 9th grade or High School freshman year. However, I was now back in California.

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I've read somewhere that changing handwriting actually reflects your mood - so if your signatures change it may be corresponding to how you're feeling at the moment. Interesting so many different requirements in different states.

  8. peachpurple profile image81
    peachpurpleposted 9 years ago

    my eight year old son is learning cursive writing now because it is a compulsory subject which will be tested in exam. It was difficult for him since his handwriting is hardly readable , even in single alphabet writing

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Wow peach, your son is one of very few then who is still being taught that skill.  I hope he enjoys learning it - one day it may be a precious commodity smile

    2. profile image53
      aharrisposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I req'd my 8th grade Engl students to handwrite everything (unless lesson focus was MLA style format). Was my honor to see hand-crafted thoughts. Tons of personality comes through. Hard enough to assess essays. Word-proc  papers wld have made it #@%!

  9. Sulabha profile image75
    Sulabhaposted 9 years ago

    Even I believe good handwriting should be taught to children. Writing helps develop clarity of thought. And good handwriting has always been a manifestation of clear line of thinking. Doctors Excluded!

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      doctor's excluded smile - I agree that handwriting bears more importance than we tend to give it.  I wish it wasn't being neglected as it is.

  10. someonewhoknows profile image73
    someonewhoknowsposted 9 years ago

    Dislike using the click of a mouse to "sign" my so-called "signature" online.
    Even using an electronic pen anywhere that is required. Banks ,supermarkets,retail stores everywhere. In, fact I prefer to print my name in CAPITAL LETTERS then indicate my reservation of my right to sue for at any future time - under that - and only then write my name in cursive within the above understanding.Computers don't allow such actions.

    P.S  When you see your name in all capital letters in legal documents or elsewhere - mail, bills,etc......... THAT INDICATES A CORPORATION or CORPORATE NAME. Usually given at birth now and definitely when you enter the workforce and willingly sign IRS and or Social Security forms at the legal age of at least 18. Also,driver's licenses and other such legal  documents.

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Ok, not sure what this has to do with cursive being taught to kids, but interesting feedback.

  11. profile image53
    aharrisposted 9 years ago

    Please follow this link to a short article that talks about the importance of handwriting better than I can. … .html?_r=0

    My own observation on the subject is that I can usually tell when the author of a cursive writing sample has been educated in Europe, because their cursive style all looks so similar.  I believe this is because they were taught cursive BEFORE they were taught manuscript.  When you are in 1st grade, your nascent motor-skills development stage will produce a more rote-like result.  If you learn manuscript first and cursive later, your motor skills will have evolved enough to allow for individual style.

    Have you thought about the number of languages around the world that have one way of writing, not two?  It is, perhaps, a Western phenomenon.

    Doesn't it seem odd that we would not think of adopting a signature in manuscript?  Our legal signatures are always written in cursive.  To sign a document in manuscript would be like signing with an "X," like those who are illiterate.

    My own children learned manuscript first and then used a method called D'Nealian handwriting that transitioned them from manuscript to cursive by gradually connecting the printed letters together.  Neither one's handwriting is pretty.

    In my middle school English classes, I adopted a one-day-on/one-day-off cursive requirement, because they uniformly disliked having to write in cursive, so I didn't require them to do it every day.  They appreciated that.

    I suppose you could think about when you use cursive yourself.  Do you take class notes in cursive?  Write your grocery list in cursive?  Write thank you notes I cursive?  Take down phone messages in cursive? 

    Ask yourself what other people you care about expect in your writing samples.  Like your elders, your boss, your professor, your loved ones...will they think more or less of you for having written in cursive?  Will they be impressed and understand it is a show of respect and high regard?  Do you care? Do you EVER want to say "I don't know how to write in cursive."? Do you EVER want to say "I can't read cursive."?

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for the excellent answer and link, I definitely still write often in notebooks, although the quality of my handwriting has definitely declined due to all the typing I do.  I like to write sometimes  just to practice and keep the skill.

  12. M. T. Dremer profile image82
    M. T. Dremerposted 9 years ago

    I heard somewhere that messy handwriting is a sign of intelligence. Something about the mind working faster than the hand can follow. So your son is probably in a good place.

    I personally find that the usefulness for cursive has all but evaporated. I never much liked it when I was growing up, and promptly switched back after I left the class. I just found that it made someone's hand writing, which was already hard to read, even harder. We don't even really use it for signatures anymore because most autographs are little more than illegible squiggles. Think back to the last time you signed one of those digital pads when you used your credit card. Was that really cursive?

    I think the only modern value for it is in being able to decipher old documents. But even then, I think we could move it from a writing/English class into history.

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I see your point but agree to disagree, I think writing by hand is far more valuable and shouldn't just be relegated to history - it's what connects us with our history after all smile

  13. swordsbane profile image60
    swordsbaneposted 9 years ago

    Of course creative writing should still be taught in school.  How will kids learn to make up good stories to explain why they didn't do the homework or why they didn't break the lamp, but the family gecko did?

    Seriously, a resounding YES.  Creative writing stimulates the brain in a way nothing else can.  It not only makes kids want to write stories, but also READ more, and reading more is ALWAYS a good thing.

    No, it doesn't have to be prep for a career, but it's a creative outlet for kids and young adults at a time in their lives where they will never have more of a need to have an outlet.

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Creative writing would be another great subject to have as regular practice in schools for sure.

  14. Cerulean Crayon profile image63
    Cerulean Crayonposted 9 years ago

    I may have missed it while scanning the previous answers, so forgive me if I repeat a point.

    Formal documents (Declaration of Independence for example) are in cursive. Today's students have to learn it, or our future generations will depend on other people to tell them what the documents say. That's a step back towards some scary times....or could be, after not too long.

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Agree totally.

  15. Edwin Thomas profile image73
    Edwin Thomasposted 9 years ago

    yeah..!! Its easy to write and more wonderful on appearance of you can develop a good handwriting

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      agreed, I love it when people can write legibly.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)