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Say Goodbye to Cursive!

Schools will no longer teach cursive writing.

When you live for 80 years, you see a multitude of changes around you, and you get used to them.

The impact of computers has created a world that almost constantly offers us new products and new ways of doing things. I thought I had grown to expect a world of constant change and accept it in stride.

However, a recent change in our school curriculum seems almost unbelievable. Our children will no longer be taught cursive writing in school! Huh? Did I hear that right?

Don't we all remember practicing the correct slant, the correct procedures for each letter in the alphabet? In my own case, I can remember having small indentations for ink wells actually built into the desks. (Talk about temptation for young rascallions!) I can well understand why these were eventually eliminated.

When it came time for my own children to use cursive, in general, mastering the technique was not accomplished without a lot of concentrated effort. When my husband and I attended parent night, we discovered our offspring were not at the top of the class when it came to the cursive displays.

Yes, when I think about it, one of my sons never accepted the cursive writing style at all. He was a rebel to the end, and to my dismay, he hand printed his papers until he learned to use the typewriter.

To those of you too young to remember the typewriter, picture a machine with keys and a roller holding paper that received imprints from the keys, a machine that once was found in every office in America. Without much fanfare, eventually the typewriter was relegated to history and replaced with the computer.

Yet the elimination of cursive writing from our schools comes as more of a shock. Perhaps the hand written letter in cursive is prized highly by many of us, including me, and we find it hard to imagine a world without such letters.

Yet the printing is on the wall. It looks like we will eventually say goodbye to cursive...hard to believe.

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Deb H May 18, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Montessori Schools teach cursive. It is my 5 and 7 year old children's preferred way of writing even when at home. They read both cursive and print easily.
Old School May 19, 2012 at 02:32 AM
A response to Busephalus Thank you for pointing out the fact that I did not use a verb. That was intentional and I wanted to see if anyone would catch it. You obviously did. So now that you qualified to be a watch dog and tutor, go out and stop those kids from saying the word 'like' 6 times in one sentence and make them pull up their pants. As far as the RAP is concerned, it was capitolized because it is so heinous and useless my keyboard was trying to scream.
DMac May 19, 2012 at 04:15 PM
No more teaching cursive? Maybe we should put churning butter back in, or how to make a candle. Shall we teach the little children other skills that have gone by the wayside? School is for critical thinking, social skills, and future job skill-building. Cursive is antiquated. We read sanskrit, no one writes it anymore. The kids of today will adapt, they will learn what is relevant, and excel. Just as generations have before them. Heaven forbid we don't evolve from the key placement of a typewriter setting to something more adaptive like speech recognition. Stop showing your age(s) and fear of change and embrace it.
Kate Gladstone May 20, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Handwriting matters ... But does cursive matter? Research shows: the fastest and most legible handwriters avoid cursive. They join only some letters, not all of them: making the easiest joins, skipping the rest, and using print-like shapes for those letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree. ((Citation: Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, and Naomi Weintraub. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HANDWRITING STYLE AND SPEED AND LEGIBILITY. 2001: on-line at http://www.sbac.edu/~werned/DATA/Brain%20research%20class/handwriting%20speed%20style%20legibility%20berninger.pdf — and there are actually handwriting programs that teach this way.) Reading cursive still matters -- 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, too: whatever your elementary school teacher may have been told by her elementary school teacher, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over signatures written in any other way. (Don't take my word for this: talk to any attorney.) Yours for better letters, Kate Gladstone — CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works Director, the World Handwriting Contest Co-Designer, BETTER LETTERS handwriting trainer app for iPhone/iPad
Jennifer McKenzie May 20, 2012 at 07:07 PM
How will they be able to read a lot of our historical documents? Is teaching cursive really THAT big of a burden on their school day?

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