Curses to Cursive

Recently in the news there was a story about doing away with cursive. I guess the argument was that since we are all on computers, or texting, there is no longer a need for that form of writing to be taught. It's difficult to check for mistakes in cursive, and children these days do all their reports in word processing anyway.

Growing up, cursive was one of those coming-of-age events. I think it was around third grade that they really began to push it on us kids. I remember, because my handwriting, regular or cursive, has always been horrible and there was a lot of hard practice going of after third grade lunch hour. I always felt inadequate. But I despite that, I loved the elegance of writing letters all flowy and connected. It was so grown-up and almost like learning a foreign language. I do handwrite stories from time to time, and use cursive. I'd hate to see something so organic and real be tossed to the wind just because society thinks it is a worthless art.

How do you feel about this?


Comments

  1. Besides the fact that cursive is somewhat of an art form....I shudder when the old ways are not taught anymore. What happens in the event of global catastrophe and there is no one left who knows how to do anything manually? Just imagine; no calculators, no computers, no phones, no television or radio...global communication catastrophe. Pass me a pen.

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  2. Two of my children were brought up in France, and attended French schools. They learned to write correctly, and their writing was beautiful. When they returned to the UK (and went to English schools) their handwriting went downhill instantly.... I think they were embarrassed in front of their new friends that their handwriting was so perfect!

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  3. Oh, cursive. The bane of my existence. I have horrible handwriting and I really struggled with this. Personally, I don't feel cursive is that important any more.

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  4. Bad bad bad. Just like doing away with grammar studies-- it leads to no good for budding writers.

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  5. Cro- That's a neat story. It's funny (and sad) how kids can be shamed by fellow students into actually doing worse in school!

    Talli- I hear ya, my handwriting is atrocious. But . . . I still love the act of cursive.

    Karen- I wonder what the educators are thinking? We keep moving toward technology, and forgetting about the little human things.

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  6. So in the near future, we will only have to learn to write our names in cursive for signature purposes. But then maybe not, possibly we will just have to leave a little of our DNA.

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  7. Research shows that the fastest and most legible handwriters avoid cursive. The highest speeds and highest legibility in handwriting occur when the writer /a/ joins only some letters, not all of them -- making the easiest joins, skipping the rest, and /b/ uses print-like shapes for those letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree.

    As a handwriting instruction/remediation professional, I regularly have to deal with those who are washouts from handwriting programs that emphasize cursive to the point of making it an idol. Reading cursive remains important -- yet this takes just 30 to 60 minutes to learn, and can be taught to a five- or six-year-old if the child knows how to read. The value of reading cursive is therefore no justification for writing it.

    Remember this, too: despite what your elementary school teacher may have been told by her elementary school teacher, signatures in cursive have no special legal validity over signatures written in any other way. (Don't take my word for this: talk to any attorney.)


    Kate Gladstone
    Director, the World Handwriting Contest
    Co-Designer, BETTER LETTERS handwriting instruction app for iPhone/iPad
    Founder and CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works
    http://www.HandwritingThatWorks.com

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  8. I just realized I have no idea what cursive is. I had to look it up and after reading your post and the comments I think I understand. I grew up in Sweden and we were taught handwriting, but I don't know if it was cursive. Everyone ended up with their own style. Mine is horrible, my mom's was small and childlike, my dad's big, bold and beautiful. All were different. I think as long as we all can write by hand and read each other's writing, just in case the tech systems collapse, we should be OK.

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  9. I hope it doesn't disappear from the schools. Such a loss if it does. Someone above mentioned that it's an art form. It is! And as Canyon Girl says, needed should the tech systems collapse.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

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  10. I have mixed feelings on this and haven't figured out whether I'm against it for valid reasons or because it's such a big change. I'd like my kids to learn cursive, just to have done it, much like I wish I'd learned real calligraphy. At the same time, I've been cheating at cursive for quite a long time, because I didn't remember how to make a capital Q (for instance) or a capital Z. My cursive is sloppy (as is my print, lol), and often turns into a bit of a blur when I've been writing too much, whereas my print stays fairly good either way. But I'm sad to see it go. One more thing run over by the giant wheels of technology. While signatures are valid in print, it seems like they are harder to copy in cursive. I may be way off base there, though.

    Tina @ Life is Good
    and I are joining forces in another challenge. We're going to visit and comment at each of the participants, starting with the reflections post. We hope you'll join us!

    Shannon @ The Warrior Muse

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  11. You know, my son's school focused on cursive for about 2 seconds and moved on. He never did get it down very good. He can do it, but it takes awhile! As for my daughter, I started teaching her cursive in 1st grade, because she asked. 2nd grade, she wrote in cursive 1/2 the time and the teacher never complained. Going into 3rd grade now, I expected her to be ahead of the other kids in cursive.... But, I am not sure they will even work on learning it. It is really sad. To me, writing in cursive is much easier than handwriting. It is much prettier, and I know my writing is better when I do it. It should definitly still be taught. That's like saying we have spell check, so why teach spelling?

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