Cursive Pin

Should children learn cursive writing?

Should Children Learn Cursive Writing?

According to this article, forty-four states are eliminating cursive writing as a requirement in public schools. Keyboarding will be required. I can understand the keyboarding being a requirement. I took typing in high school and will always be grateful I did as I had no idea how important computers would be in my future.

I’m personally of the opinion that children should learn to write in cursive and I have taught it as a teacher.  As a homeschool mom now, I have Caroline do at least a little bit of handwriting every time we do school and she will eventually learn cursive when it is developmentally appropriate for her.Writing, in general, is not her favorite activity, but I do feel there are reasons she needs to have a firm grasp of it both in terms of being able to write and read it. Even if we live in a technological society, there will always be a need for handwriting.

Does writing in cursive matter to you? If you homeschool, do you/will you teach it? If your child goes to school, does it matter to you if your school eliminates it? Will you teach it to him/her if he/she doesn’t learn it at school? Or is it just something from the past that isn’t relevant any longer?

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22 thoughts on “Should children learn cursive writing?

  1. Amie

    Kyle, age 10, can write – print and cursive, his cursive is actually pretty decent. He HATES to write though, HATES it. He is a very creative child and I am trying to get him to write more, not handwriting but composition. I am going to let him start typing it all. He is doing a typing program and is getting pretty good at it. I also like the aspect of immediate spell check and him being able to correct his own work that way. So, that is where we are at with that. I think it is somewhat of a boy thing or personality thing too. Ellie, age 6, doesn’t complain about writing.

  2. Christian @ Modobject at Home

    Having my children learn cursive handwriting is very important to me! My oldest two children attend a classical Christian school that puts a heavy emphasis on handwriting (among other things). My oldest son, who is in third grade, is learning cursive this year. What a delight it has been for us and his teacher to watch him beautifully excel in it… he has gorgeous cursive handwriting. For a child who has faced and still faces some learning challenges what a sweet, sweet mercy from God it has been for all of us to see him shine!

  3. Ann

    Our school still teaches it. (Catholic school)

    I read somewhere learning cursive is good for your brain, it’s a totally different process than print. Very interesting stuff.

  4. Lindsey

    I used to be like you – a real stickler for it when I was a teacher in the public schools and beyond.

    However, I now have 2 out of 3 kids who have serious issues that keep them from having pretty handwriting (print, cursive or otherwise). My oldest has aspergers and sensory disorders and she cannot write neat. AT ALL. As in, we’ve spent 11 years with tears and begging, pleading, punishing, screaming, being gentle – we’ve tried it all. She cannot produce “neat” writing.

    Then, my middle daughter has an orthopedic disease and it’s impossible to write for long periods of time. We’re just thankful she can write at all.

    My son is fine :) and I hope he’ll have neat writing.

    Handwriting has just become one of those hills I’ve stopped being willing to die on, if you will.

  5. Brandy @ Afterthoughts

    I actually have been pondering doing Cursive First with my younger students. I have read that it improves reading. My oldest has now almost completely switched over, and his cursive is MUCH more attractive than his ball-and-stick printing.

    A child that cannot at least *read* cursive will not be able to work with original source documents (think here Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Mayflower Compact, etc.) because they are all in cursive.

  6. TulipGirl

    In theory, I like the importance of cursive.

    In reality, I was so traumatized by it when I was in school that I’ve pretty much neglected it in our homeschooling. I have workbooks on hand. Each of my kids have come to a point of wanting to be able to read/write in cursive and have been motivated enough to learn. . . and have decent enough handwriting to read.

    Perhaps I should have overcome my own issues with handwriting for my children’s sake. . .

    Perhaps they’ll be just fine with the learn-as-they-go method we’ve taken. . .

  7. Sallie Post author

    Lindsey – I would agree with you about children who aren’t capable of doing it or find it excessively challenging. That’s a completely different topic.

    Brandy – I hadn’t thought of the source documents although I suspect that is becoming less and less important to the population at large. Why read them for yourself when you can just read a computer copy that’s been transcribed? (Yes, I’m being a little snarky. Sorry.) But you make a good point. Sort of like people who can’t understand classic literature because they have zero knowledge of the Bible.

    TulipGirl – I think your approach is fine. Isn’t that what homeschooling is about? Doing things when the children are ready for it? I don’t think cursive writing has to start at a certain month of a certain grade.

    Here’s a couple of articles I found:
    How Handwriting Boosts the Brain

    How Cursive Writing Affects Brain Development

    The Many Health Perks of Good Handwriting

  8. Imajackson

    I agree cursive is good for the brain, the hand development and general concentration. Typing is good too and kids should have both. Good thoughts Sallie!

    Ima

  9. Karen Jones

    Our public school does not teach cursive . I am very disappointed about that . My 15 year old refuses to learn it or have any interrest in it ( she is the one who took over her own education basicly when she began kindergarten , mostly all As barely a question about anything ) The 13 year old we have spent so much time effort and money on just helping her to learn to read that even mentioning writing has sent her over the edge. (She is greatly improved this year now I wonder was it a natural growth process or hormonal spurt she needed to achieve to be able to read) or was it the thousands of $ and hours finally kicking in?? Anyway neither girl can read cursive which is unexceptable to me . I struggled greatly with being able to produce handwriting anyone could read when I was in school but now have very pretty handwriting if I do say so .Having just cleaned out my dear 82 year old friends effects I was able to see recipes and letters much of which wasn’t signed but we all knew who had written what simply by their handwriting. And the beautiful Spencerian writing is a work of art!!! What we are loosing in our rush to educate children to be efficient workers is the BEAUTY of life. And Beauty is not come by easily in art or architecture or music ,we have as a culture bought into the belief that all real beauty is what is natural or crude but just look at the wonderful things humans are able to create when they are disciplined it makes me feel a little thrill of creation and closer to God myself. Wow I kind of went overboard here didn’t I ?? LOL Karen

  10. Sallie Post author

    Karen said:

    What we are loosing in our rush to educate children to be efficient workers is the BEAUTY of life. And Beauty is not come by easily in art or architecture or music ,we have as a culture bought into the belief that all real beauty is what is natural or crude but just look at the wonderful things humans are able to create when they are disciplined it makes me feel a little thrill of creation and closer to God myself.

    Amen! Well said! :D

  11. Debbie P.

    I have one of those sons who REFUSED to pick up any kind of writing utensil until the age of 6 when he started coloring and over time got quite good at it. He has some sensory motor issues and his hand tremors when he writes. There are other issues as well but the point is that he is a bright boy who has significant small motor skill issues.

    This year he enters 1st grade. In Hungary. My expectations for him in handwriting has been low. My goal for him was simply to try and make a good effort to do well. He has far exceeded my expectations.

    I taught in Hungarian schools for 4 years and was always shocked at how beautifully even the boys handwriting was. Now I know! They start cursive right away in 1st grade but don’t start right away with letters. They break down the letters into parts and practice writing those parts over and over and over again. THEN they start on the letters. It is amazing. My son just had a writing test. The grade he got on it was very low but that is only in comparison to perfection. In comparison to what he was doing 3 months ago(he literally could not draw a circle or stick person) it is a hands-down A+ and I am convinced will only get better.

    Cursive is the way to go. If my son can do it, by far most children can!

  12. Sallie Post author

    Debbie – One of the articles I linked to in the comment above mentioned that most countries start cursive far earlier than the USA. I’m going to do some more reading and thinking about that. I would not have thought to start Caroline on cursive next year, but I’m going to keep an open mind about it.

    I remember learning cursive and we spent a LOT of time practicing the strokes. I can still see the handwriting pages covered with arcs, etc. I doubt most schools would ever take that kind of time now for handwriting. It’s been so long since I’ve taught handwriting that I’m sure things have changed quite a bit.

  13. Debbie P.

    Sallie- I said that cursive is the way to go but, as you know, it depends so much on the child. Even with the challenges he has, he has been motivated to work on his handwriting. Every day we write 2 or 3 lines and I am sure at school he does 2 or 3 as well. I try to take a Charlotte Mason approach and not force him to do 100′s of them but just a few well done. He does have a FANTASTIC, encouraging, supportive teacher as well which is not common here. As a parent sometimes I underestimate what my child can do.

  14. Jenn

    Unfortunately, I cannot homeschool my kids anymore (long story, but God’s in control). We did practice cursive when we homeschooled and I still think it’s relevant in today’s world. I can see why the schools do not have time to teach it, especially now that they must teach keyboarding. But parents can’t drop the ball if at all possible. I still homeschool my kids in areas where I feel the public school doesn’t focus enough time. I’m their mom, after all. They do complain about cursive and don’t understand why they must learn it. But I know they will be the better for it.

  15. Jenny

    I was saddened to learn that our PS system does not teach cursive. Then we purchased the mandatory school planner and found in the back a page or two about cursive handwriting. My little boy was so excited to start learning cursive, and he’s only in 1st grade. He can write his name in cursive, and I promised him that in a few years, I’d teach him to write cursive. Right now we need to focus on printing neatly!!

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  17. Janet

    I value cursive writing and love it, and have taught it to my 3 daughters. But they hate writing in cursive…I don’t know why.:) I make my 2 current students write in cursive frequently anyway.:)

  18. Liz

    I am a public school teacher and I believe in cursive. It may sound silly, but if we stop teaching children cursive they will no longer have the ability to read historic documents. Not to mention the letters great grandma wrote to great grandpa during WWII. Sure they could read typed versions of those things, but they would lose the ability to read them *themselves.* I have a probelm with that.

    The reason why many school are dropping cursive is time. States are adding so much to the school day – so many nore topics to teach and at earlier grade levels, something has to go, and schools see cursive as no longer essential so an easy thing to drop. I wish they wouldn’t. I certainly want my own children (who I will teach in school) to be able to read and write cursive.

    Luckily my public school has not dropped cursive and we teach the d’nealian style of printing. D’nealian printing makes the transition to cursive MUCH easier. If you are not familiar with d’nealian, you should look into it.

    http://www.dnealian.com/lessons.html

  19. Vanessa

    Our signature is a major factor in our life. :arrow: If we only wrote in print, it would be so much more likely that our signature could be replicated and identities could be stolen 8O , credit card fraud could happen more :( , etc. And what if a postman had to deliver a letter that was addressed in cursive but he didnt learn cursive in school :?: I see major benefits in learning cursive. :mrgreen:

  20. Kel

    I know this is an older post but today my niece was talking to me about how her brother, who is 18 years old and now in college, cannot write any cursive at all and in fact cannot sign his own name. He simply puts the first letter and then squiggles a line behind it. I think technology is good but I dont think we should “dumb down” our children by not teaching them something as important as being able to sign your own name.

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