I am personally an advocate for teaching cursive handwriting (and phonetics). I have co-workers who think that it is obsolete and will not be necessary in a few years.
What do you think? Should we teach it?
I believe that this is just another method for people to disconnect us from our heritage. If no one is taught to read and write in cursive, less people will know how exactly to read important documents like the Constitution, the declaration of independence, and all the various letters and notes that provide us insight to the character of our founding fathers, and the development of this great land and its history.
Thus we will be left dependent on having these things interpreted to us out of context by people who wish to devalue our society. And opening the door for widespread moral relativism, Ideological subversion, social pessimism, and other methods of implementing socialist traits into our country.
I don't know where you are from or how the educational system on handwriting is in other countries, but here in Belgium, children age 6 start learning to read and write in cursive handwriting. The "print" way of writing, they do not get specifically taught but they learn from reading in it. All written documents are mostly in cursive, most people's handwriting is in cursive.
So with that in the back of the head, I do agree you should know how to read and use both.
This is the way it should be.... we are fooling ourselves in the States. We are systematically lowering our national intelligence with each passing school year.
I wouldn't have put it as rudely as you have, but indeed - I feel the same about the American school system. They are systematically leaving things out, which makes for a high success rate in numbers, but a low number in IQ rates - if that makes sense. Children, and then I am no longer only speaking about America but everywhere, should learn as many different subjects and skills as possible. What education should do is give them a wide base to start from so they can expand their knowledge easier, further in life.
You only think it is rude because you don't live here and you can't see what I see... It is awful and it is our fault. We have not been critical enough or
or physically involved enough in our local schools.
Parents in the USA have more authority regarding what is taught in the school systems then they realize. It is mandatory that all schools have a time of preview when parents, teachers and or community persons can come and review textbooks and other learning materials prior to them being introduced into the schools.... We have the opportunity to agree or disagree with their selections.
We have simply been remiss in carrying out our responsibilities.
I agree with lydocia. Childhood is the time to learn much, not some. And my feeling about the "Cursive Handwriting is Obsolete" bandwagon is that someone needs to take the wheels off that thing before someone gets hurt. I think the move is fueled from somewhere within the educational departments of schools all over the U.S. for a variety of reasons and none of them being that it will soon be obsolete. I think the majority of people pushing this are those that feel that by removing one tedious task from the educator's daily list, that somehow there will be lots of time for other much more important things.
I also agree with LeslieAdrienne. Since about the time the teaching industry of the 1960's decided Dick and Jane primers were sexist and unrealistic for young readers, the slippery slope to illiteracy was groomed in the United States.
When I was a kid, having to learn cursive drove me nuts. To my mind, I had already learned how to write. Why would I need to learn yet another way of writing the same stinking language!?
The problem, I now realize, is in the way the need to learn cursive was explained to me. Onusonus makes -- I can't believe I'm saying this -- a good point in that many important historical documents (not just official stuff but unofficial documents like letters, ledgers, diaries, etc) are in one cursive script or another. If you don't know how cursive works, you'll have a harder time reading those primary sources. It won't be impossible, but it will be harder. Of course the rest of Onusonus's post is nothing but delusional paranoid ranting, but that one grain of sense is a good point.
lydocia also makes a good point in that many of our schools are trending toward leaving stuff out, not only in an attempt to boost scores on standardized tests (and "high test scores" by itself should not be an educational goal) but also in an attempt to confuse students about what is or isn't science (so-called "intelligent" design), or in fact, history (revisionist "Christian Nation" nonsense).
As for the Dick-and-Jane primers, I've read them both as a kid and as an adult. As a kid, I thought, "What is the point of this junk? Is there a story here? Do they think kids are stupid? Give me some Dr. Suess." As a grown-up, I thought, "Wow, if this is how kids are introduced to reading, no wonder so many kids don't like to read."
Finally, on a personal note, I find that I have the same problem with cursive handwriting as I do with typing--my thoughts often outrun my fingers and I end up starting to write one word and finishing writing another--the words blend together, if you know what I mean. So I end up having to do a lot of crossing out and/or re-writing (where I can just edit anything I type). For some reason I don't have the same problem when I print--not sure why. So if I want to get the darn thing written so that others will be able to read it, and I don't want to take all day, I print. If it doesn't matter how long it takes, or if it doesn't matter if someone else will be reading it, or I just feel like practicing my penmanship, I'll write in cursive. When well done, it looks much more elegant than printing.
When I went to public school here, in New England, students were taught "block writing" aka printing, beginning in the first grade. Remember the upper & lower case block letters that encircled the classroom? And the funky special lined paper? In the second grade, we began to learn "script"; what is called cursive today. Enter that same funky paper and script letters encircling the room! And I am a "southpaw". Not a good thing in school in the 1950's. Back then teachers tried to make me use my right hand. It took my dad giving my first-grade teacher a tongue lashing (in the classroom no less!) to allow me to continue to use my left hand.
Being able to write in script form-well AND clearly-is almost an art form. Regrettably today, a dying art form. How well one writes can tell alot about a person. There's a beauty and a certain flow to script writing that makes it more enjoyable and pleasing to the eyes, as well. And it's also and extension of yourself; of just who you are. That certain "uniqueness" that separates you from anyone else. And from a more practical perspective, any decent handwriting specialist will tell you; it's far more difficult to forge a well & clearly written script signature. It's as distinct as one's fingerprints.
Block lettering (printing) has it's place. After all, it's what we're all using in this forum, isn't it? And hand printing is OK too, I guess. When jotting down a grocery or "to do" list etc...But there's an added dimension-a passion, an added depth if you will-that comes across when one reads Shakespeare or the Declaration of Independence in script, for example.
Or ask any soldier who gets a letter from home. To be sure; they appreciate ANY mail from home. But ask them if there isn't just a bit more emotion felt as they try to read mom or dad's "chicken scratches". They may even laugh to their buddies about it. But when they close their letter with: "Take care Son. We Love You. You're in our thoughts & prayers" Love, Mom & Dad" that soldier KNOWS Mom wrote that. It's Mom's handwriting. It's Mom's signature and no one elses. There's love, concern and hope written in every single letter of every single word. It's very personal; as it should be. And that's something you simply can't get from a computer or a keyboard.
Thank you for introducing me to a new term. I honestly have never heard of "cursive handwriting" before.
Is there another term that you use or do you even make a distinction between the types of handwriting that is taught in your schools?
Yeah, that's the kind that's laced with profanity.
In the town where I live in MN they teach cursive 2 weeks in 3rd grade. Thats it! My 13 doesnt have any idea how to do it. But I feel in this technology driven world of email, text and Facebbok, there is no need. No one hand writes anything anymore. Life is so impersonal that soon we'll never have to talk face-to-face again-
When I taught 2nd, I taught cursive the last quarter of the year. The students loved the opportunity to learn. Their concentration was wonderful There were no behavior issues during that time.
Handwriting is a skill that engages the child in the visual and tactile areas. I have a passion for teaching it.
No, there is no need to learn cursive. With small, powerful electronic devices there is also no need to learn to read at all; your phone could be built to take a picture and then read signs and such to you. It will also save a lot of funding of public libraries as unneeded as soon as the rest of us are gone.
No need to learn arithmetic, (let alone algebra!) your phone can add for you.
Kids don't need history; they will make their own and don't care what grandpa did.
Grammar can go with literacy as not needed.
No need for biology, chemistry or physics either; just google what you want and let the computer talk to you. Besides, somebody else will build the gadgets you want.
Not that I'm disheartened with our public schools...
If we stop teaching cursive hand writing, we only serve to take our education level down another notch. We should have more pride in the education system we have in our country. We are way down in the totem poll when it comes to educating our children already. I wonder how much lower it has to go before every body wakes up.
I love your cynicism.....
I am wondering with you...
I once read a study that found dyslexic children learned to read cursive better than print.. and historically, American schools used to teach cursive first (I'm not exactly sure when the switch was made to teaching print first). There is an interesting article teaching cursive vs. print first on a Montessori website:
(http://www.blog.montessoriforeveryone.c … other.html)
I tried to find the time of the switch, but I was unsuccessful.
I know the ABEKA curriculum still teaches this way.
Excellent article.... the ABEKA curriculum teaches cursive first....
I was taught to read with the ABEKA curriculum (I went to a private Kindergarten). I remember entering the public school and they had to send me to the second grade for reading, because I was that far ahead of the other Kindergarteners. Of course, this was back in the early '80's when reading wasn't taught in public kindergartens. I find it interesting that ABEKA teaches cursive prior to printing!
"Of course, this was back in the early '80's when reading wasn't taught in public schools."
Um, what? Which early 80's did you live in?
Oops - left out a critical word there! I meant "when reading wasn't taught in KINDERGARTEN in public schools."
I need more coffee.
My brain sometimes quits on me
The private Kindergarten taught the ABEKA curriculum for reading, but must not have used the same curriculum for writing. I just looked at a sample from my kindergarten classroom, and it was block-style printing. We used special paper that had a house on the side of each line: there was the "upstairs," "downstairs," and "basement" - a symbolic way for young kids to know which letters extended up high or had a dangling tail...
This reminds me of an incident that happened last week to me. I had to print up a letter and found out my printer had ran out of ink(Murphy s Law).
After trying to locate the ink cartridges in town and nearby I finally resorted to the unthinkable...I actually hand wrote the letter in cursive!
it felt so strange but I liked it. I wondered what the recipient would think receiving something so unprofessional as a hand written letter?
Staci L : You don't mention what kind of letter you were obliged to hand write in cursive nor its content. But if what you wrote was, say, a resume cover letter, I would be inclined to believe the recipient would NOT think it was unprofessional. To the contrary, you most likely garnered more attention for your resume. Positive attention. That is if your cursive was legible! :-) (I'm new to this site. How does one add a happy face?)
Many potential employers like to see an applicant's cursive handwriting; particularly if the position you are applying for involves writing. It tells them that, if your handwriting is neat and readable, chances are you care enough about the other facets of the position as well. I've been on more than one interview where I've been asked to write something about myself. Not just to give an employer a better "window" into just who I am. But also to see just how legible my writing is and as a way to learn whether or not the typed resume I presented was, actually, composed by me!
Meaning, if you have a very well put together resume i.e. sentence structure, verbage etc...but what you WRITE is complete & utter nonsense like "I ain't got no..." they will, most likely, discard your resume in the "circular file".
Having reviewed a boatload of resumes over the years, whenever I came across a handwritten cover letter-or envelope for that matter-it always captured my attention to look a little closer at the resume itself. And in this economy, ANY "edge" you can get, take it!
Reggie has described very eloquently the beauty and utility of personal script.
I've taken a couple of continuing ed classes in graphoanalysis. One thing a professional handwriting analyst will tell you is that disconnected handwriting (either printed or half-printed, half-cursive) is preferred by those who are intuitive by nature.
Those who love writing in a connected fashion (e.g. cursive) are linear people who like to take things from A to B to C in a traditional way. They are good at following directions. When they are feeling more intuitive, their writing probably becomes more fragmented. The more legible their handwriting, the more the desire to communicate clearly.
OK, so I get that some people truly prefer printing, and they can write pretty quickly in their accustomed way. How dare I say that they should love to write in script like I do?
Still, it is far more difficult to tell anything about a person who prints all the time, and only uses cursive for their legal signature (and let's hope that today's young people do have something that approaches a legal signature!) Cursive handwriting shows a person's mood, and quite a bit about the areas of life they value the most.
I cannot help but believe that the learning of cursive handwriting was/is an important factor in the maturation and personality development of each individual, but that's just my opinion. I can't back it up with any research.
Reggie G, to add a happy face, just type in a colon immediately followed by ).
If you click on the formatting button, it will give you several other options
I was taught printing, followed by cursive in about the third grade. I always had the grade of "N" for my handwriting (for "needs improvement"). If I were in school today, I would probably have been given occupational therapy because of poor fine motor skills. Back then, I simply received an "N" in the subject until it was finally eliminated from the coursework. I was quite happy for the ability to type papers in middle school and high school!
I do believe it is an important subject, even though I was terrible at it!
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