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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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....
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 #@%!
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!
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.
Please follow this link to a short article that talks about the importance of handwriting better than I can.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/scien … .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."?
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.
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.
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.
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.
yeah..!! Its easy to write and more wonderful on appearance of you can develop a good handwriting
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