Schools not teaching children to write in cursive?

@JenInTN (27565)
United States
April 26, 2011 4:13am CST
I was watching the news last night and there was a report that the schools are considering taking cursive out of their curriculum. They say that cursive is not really needed and that it is a lost art. They say that by not teaching cursive writing that there will be more time to fit other things in. Some people said they never use cursive anyway, but I do. I use it everytime I write. It comes natural for me. I guess I could teach my own children how to write cursive if I really wanted them to learn it, but I am a little surprised about them considering taking it out of the plan. Are you surprised? Do you think they should stop teaching people to write in cursive?
13 people like this
48 responses
26 Apr 11
There's a lot to be said for having "the three R's" as we call them in the UK - reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic (i.e. reading, writing and arithmetic/basic maths). While it's true that reading is still vital, the other two are no longer even needed with computers around to do everything for us. However, I'm a traditionalist in that I believe they're still vital. Having the basic basics before you learn the modern basics (reading, typing and using a calculator) means you're NEVER at a loss, no matter where you are. In my opinion, removing writing or basic maths from any curriculum would dumb down the population one step too far. And cursive script is part of that - it's also an expression of personality, since we all do it differently (whereas capitals are far more similar across the board).
4 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
I think that we have become far too dependent on technology too. I think that it's fine to use it, but you are so on the bullseye with the importance on knowing what to do if it wasn't there for a moment. I think that cursive is a basic and your right about expression too. Thanks for the input.
3 people like this
• United States
26 Apr 11
I'm with you, Spike. Thankfully, the number of people home schooling their kids in the US grows every year. And I cannot imagine any home schooled kids not learning how to do cursive.
• Canada
27 Apr 11
I'm all for learning to write... as in print. but handwriting is pretty useless nowadays. Printing is way easier to read anyways.
@krajibg (11939)
• Guwahati, India
26 Apr 11
Hello jen, How come what I wanted to focus on you do before hand? lol This is a serious problem in our country specially in those schools where English is taught as a second language. Just to mention I am the president of a Govt. lower primary School Management Committee. The teachers, let alone English are not even not proficient in their own language. When they teach English they stick only to the printed Capital and printed small letters. One day I made a sudden visit and I asked the lady teacher to write the ABC in cursive capital for the student of third standard. She started sweating and fumbling. She ran up to the head teacher for help but he too could not satisfy. After that event she learned the cursive letters and somehow manages to look the letters cursive like. Horrible.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
Well...it was very common when I was young..very young...to learn cursive. Most of my classes required that we use it too. It actually become second nature for me to write that way and still is..lol. On most documents that I have ever signed here has a line for print and then a signature line for a cursive name. I guess that is why I am so surprised they are considering taking it out of the requirements. Very impressive job by the way..you have the power to create learning.
2 people like this
@dreamy1 (3815)
• United States
26 Apr 11
I didn't grow up with computers but now a days everyone uses them and the actual need to write seems archaic. Of course I learned cursive but now on the rare occasion I do write something I use a combination of print and cursive because that's just what I picked up over the years. I've been out of school for decades now so I don't even think of these things. I guess that's progress. Just like we don't speak or write in Old English anymore things change and we lose some stuff along the way.
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
Your right..there is a lot lost along the way. It is a shame. I have went back to school and most of our assignments are required printed of a Word program. I am glad that I know cursive and that my children have learned it. I think it is a shame that it will be one of those "lost" things. Take care and thanks for responding.
2 people like this
@dreamy1 (3815)
• United States
26 Apr 11
Well my handwriting is bad anyway. My mother always said I should have become a doctor because of my bad handwriting.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
27 Apr 11
@carolscash (9500)
• United States
26 Apr 11
I believe that the schools here have already stopped teaching cursive. The reason that educators here give is that with the computers being used so much, the children do not need cursive. I think that it is a sad thing and since I home school my child, she will learn cursive. She struggles forming letters, but she has learned her name and some of the other words that are used a lot in cursive and next year we will work at it alot.
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
Good for you! I hope there are parents out there like you that will not let cursive become a "lost art." I think it is sad too. I think it is a part of our language. Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Apr 11
With computers, they don't need to think either. Have they stopped teaching kids to think? Answer: Yes, pretty much.
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
28 Apr 11
KENZIE: Got it in ONE. Maggiepie "The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patriots & Tyrants." ~ Thomas Jefferson
@maximax8 (28256)
• United Kingdom
26 Apr 11
I am a primary school teacher and at the moment I don't have to teach cursive writing. Though a number of years ago the head teacher said we had to teach cursive writing beginning with the four year olds. The children aged five to seven that I taught then found it challenging. I think that cursive writing could be developed at the start of secondary school at age eleven. My writing is cursive but I adapt my writing depending on who I am writing for: myself, another adult or children that I am teaching.
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
I wsa taught cursive very young too. I was required to use it in my classes and actually graded in my neatness too. It can be challenging, but I think that education should be sometimes. It is second nature for me to write that way now. Maybe that is why it used to be taught to such young children..hmm...that's a thought. Thanks for the response!
2 people like this
• United States
26 Apr 11
In the days when baby boomers were in school, cursive started in 2nd grade. I can't believe that 1) This is even being suggested as something to eliminate. and 2) That any teacher would go along with it.
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
28 Apr 11
I'm a boomer, & we were taught both printing AND cursive in the first grade. There were even large paper panels that ran around the room above the blackboards that showed how they should look. Both upper & lower case, cursive & print, with numbers 0 through 9. I happened to have been home schooled before I hit first grade at 5 & a half, but kids in our "backward" Louisiana school knew cursive early! It was easy, perhaps because we got so much practice, in every class! I think modern teachers are lazy if they agree to this nonsense. Maggiepie "The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patriots & Tyrants." ~ Thomas Jefferson
1 person likes this
@_sketch_ (5709)
• United States
26 Apr 11
I don't think it's really needed. The only time I really use it is when I am signing my name. They say that the point of cursive is that it is faster than print, but now computers are so commonplace we can just type.
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
27 Apr 11
You share the opinion of many. It is second nature for me to write like that. I think they are focusing on the fact that technology is taking the place for the need to write. Thanks for the input.
@idowrite72 (2214)
• United States
26 Apr 11
It still amazes me that the things that were "always done", just don't seem necessary anymore. I wonder what will become of someone's signature if they no longer teach children to write in cursive?? Printing is ok, but I do think that cursive writing gives people more individuality. How many do you know who write the same? I do understand that some struggle with it, but they do with math and reading, as well. I think that it is a bad idea and most homes will NOT teach it. I just don't understand it!
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
I don't understand it either. If they stop teaching it in school..your right..I don't think people will teach it at home either..children would not be able to use it on their assignments so why? Anyway..I hope they don't take it out. It does allow a bit of individuality. Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
26 Apr 11
How can we expect our children to learn something that they are unsure of if we are not willing to teach it to them. We can't expect them to just know what it ia all about. theree is more to the language of writing than just being able to print it.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
Thanks for the input sender! I do think that cursive is a part of our language.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
26 Apr 11
That sure is surprising, I didn't know that. Maybe with evolving technology, most people no longer consider cursive writing to be important. It's easier to type on the computer than to write. In our school, we were taught cursive writing on the 2nd grade. We were required to use cursive writing from then on until high school. In college, I felt free because we can write the way we wish. Although I feel too that children should be taught cursive, I do prefer to write not in cursive.
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
That was exactly the reason the news said it was being considered to take cursive out. Email and the lower demand for it. It will be a lost art before long. Even though you don't like to use it..at least you are familiar with it and know how. I like the idea of my children being educated with it too. Thanks for the response.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Apr 11
No, I am not surprised. It isn't on the test.I think the schools Would love to Only teach the best students Only the subjects on the test. They would love to be able to reduce class sizes by throwing out Any child with a learning, personality , and Hue problem.So I am not surprised one bit!
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
I know what you mean. A spirited child is often seen as a threat to the class...they aren't as conforming as the rest. That is the shame..those spirited children could be leaders in the future..sometimes not conforming is not a bad thing..that's another subject that I feel passionately over. It is hard to be surprised by the lack of nowadays. Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
• Canada
27 Apr 11
hmmm.. however as a normal to intelligent child in a class of 30... with whom at least 7 were "spirited children" I would say I got no attention and my education suffered. My parents taught me more than the public school system did.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Apr 11
Most of my classes had about 20 peoplke in them , except Pre Algebra, I think there were 30 in that one. the kids that acted up were taken out and the rest of us got enough attention.
@celticeagle (118282)
• Boise, Idaho
27 Apr 11
To me it is a sign of the times. Now days you don't have to write. You sign your name one time in your bank account and never need it again. They even use a thumb print in some places now days. It is alittle scarey to lose this 'art' that has been such a part of our lives. I am a writing and I remember writing my manuscripts long hand. Now I wouldn't think of doing that! I'm against it. But then I am against any big change!
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
27 Apr 11
I guess I am too..lol...I think it is part of our language if that makes sense. I actually still use a notebook and pencil for rough drafts.
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
27 Apr 11
I'm against it too. Ya know one day in the store that I work I witnessed a conversation between two young people. Apparantly they hadn't seen each other in a while. One says:" you'll have to give me your phone # so that I can call you and we can get together." The other person agrees and pulls out her cell phone. The first girl goes, "oh darn it. I left my phone at home." She truly was at a loss as to what to do next because the only way she knew to get a phone # was thru her cell. I tossed her a pad of paper and pen and suggested they each write down their numbers and exchange them. It hadn't even occured to them. geez.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (118282)
• Boise, Idaho
27 Apr 11
It is sad to see our youth dependant like this. If there were a black out and they lot the signal they would have a real panic attack. Everything is done for them now days. Its crippling in its way!
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
26 Apr 11
WOw not heard this as my grandson 3rd grade is just starting to learn cursive and my grand daughter 6 has picked it up and looks really good for her first time. Nope I think they should keep on teaching it not all the hard to teACH
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
I am glad they are being able to learn it. I think it should stay too. I guess they feel like it is no longer needed in schools since they are becoming more computerized. Thanks for responding!
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
27 Apr 11
thats it computers but I do think they need to learn it if they stopo teaching it then it is a lost art. My daughter blew a casket when I told her this. as she also thinks they need to continue to teach it. I like my habdwritting and havev had a lot of compliments on it and what I have seen grand daughter do on her first try at 6 years old she will have a beautiful and writting
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
27 Apr 11
It's nice to hear that your daughter takes pride in your grandaughter learning it.
@pergammano (7755)
• Canada
26 Apr 11
WELL, Jen, it had been so long since I had heard/read the word cursive...I had to use "search the web"...LOL! I am so thoroughly happy, that the basic tools of life, "reading, writing and arithmetic"...were part of my basic education, and have found ALL fully applicable in my lifestyle! Printing, Kindergarden to Grade 3..."McClean Method" of handwriting from Gr.4 forward! Printing is slower & more monotonous...but handwriting gave the writer, speed and creativity! Handwriting is/has been a useful tool in analyzing character traits...and a VERY supportive tool (LOL) when only pen )pencil) and paper abound! Handwriting never sabotaged any of my lessons, I just produced them in writing, rather than printing! To answer your question.....a resounding "NO!" A tremendously versatile "tool of life!" By the way....this is NOT new here, my son...did not learn "handwriting" nor were their standards in printing...there are times I find it almost impossible to decipher his "pen/pencil" to paper musings! Learning only typing, printers....ties them to electricity/cyber world like an unsevered umbilical cord! Rainbows.......to you, princess!
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
I am glad to have learned the "lost art" as well. It is a shame that they have taken handwriting from you and yours. It seems it will not be long here before it happens. It is second nature for me to write that way and to be honest..when I am writing poetry or anything creative, I still use the pencil and paper. I think you are right that it ties our youth even tighter to technology. I really want my children to have the basics though. I want them to be able to function on a basic level if they are ever required. Will it be? I dunno about that but I can always cry and hope they will..lol..Thanks for responding...many rainbows for you too.
2 people like this
• Canada
28 Apr 11
Dearest JEN...in my real world, I want to be self-reliant...and hopefully have raised my son to be so..too (even tho' he can't write!) I am concerned, that technology has "eroded" SO many tools of existence...and if there shud be some form of destruction...loss of power, water..etc, we have NOT given our children tools for survival...and "quality" survival....!!! Regarding "Cursive"...I searched it...it has been part of the world..time immemorial..Hebrew cursive, it's there! Interesting, eye-opener search!
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
29 Apr 11
Wow...and to think they are considering getting of it.
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36489)
• United States
27 Apr 11
Good morning Jen, I don't agree w/that at all. In fact i think it's ridiculous. I don't agree w/alot of the teaching methods they have nowadays. when my youngest was in grade school they told them they could use a calculator to do their math. I was outraged at that. It's the teacher's job to teach them to write, do math etc. I think it's jusrt an easy way out for the teachers when they do this. Teachers are not like they were when i was in school.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
27 Apr 11
Hi jo! You getting any nasty weather in your area? We are here..goodness...tornado watches everywhere tonight. I have to go to school too... I was mad as a hornet when I found out my children were allowed to use calculators in school too. I thought my daughter was trying to cheatwhen I saw her using one for homework. The teacher checked themm out to the students!
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (28614)
• Canada
26 Apr 11
The world is really changing isn't it? However, it is true that we rarely write in cursive anymore.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
It certainly is changing. Lives have really grasped the technology thing in more ways than one I suppose. I guess I am a weirdo because all I write is cursive I even still use a paper and pencil when I write poetry or anything creative...lol..Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (28614)
• Canada
29 Apr 11
I just wrote a poem about Mylot and I find I can work very fast by doing it on Microsoft Office. I can quickly write any idea and play with the words and make changes quickly. Ten minutes and the poem was done to a reasonable satisfaction rate.
@mythociate (15383)
• Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
27 Apr 11
How then will people write their signatures? Does this mean that--as you get more-and-more practice printing letters--your signature will become less-and-less unique? What about the capital-J? I pride myself on my capital-J, but you're telling me it will be reduced to a 'slanted-Q'? Oh! What-a-world, what-a-world
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
28 Apr 11
That is pretty much my picture of it. I think that it might also take one more thing that is unique to our culture away. It is one of the things that has been a part of our language for a long time. Even though we are from different places with different pasts there are certain things that can work to bind us..this..in my opinion..is one of those things. Although it seems small in comparison to other problems we face in our education systems, isn't it just one more little push towards dependency on the big money...technology.
@r3jcorp (1384)
• Philippines
27 Apr 11
In my daughters' school which is a private, they have a separate cursive writing book which they have to complete before the school ends. They do this from Grade 2 until Grade 6. But my daughters has still a bad writing until now. Maybe because everything was written in a workbook and that they have their own reference books for each subject. During my time, I studied in public school and we only have 5-10 pieces of each kind of books in our room so we have to endured the long hours of writing our lectures in our notebook. The same thing with quizzes and other short exams, the teachers do not photocopy materials before so we have to copy everything. I have a very good writing skills, whether cursive or not, even though I don't have workbooks during my school age. Maybe because I have written more than my kids now. I don't think that writing in cursive should be taught, it should be practised in school and at home.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
27 Apr 11
There were stricter requirements on writing when I was in school too. My papers were graded on neatness and they were required to be in cursive too. It is natural for me to write that way now. There are constant changes in education. Thanks for responding.
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
26 Apr 11
Really? i am still writing in cursive and here in our place, they are still teaching it since my daughter who is in first grade is learning how to. I saw hear writing the alphabet each letter at a time in cursive and she was even asking me how to write her name in cursive because her teacher in school is already teaching them how to. I hope they will still continue to write and teach in cursive.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
27 Apr 11
I hope so too. I think that as of now, it has only been stopped in some places. Thanks for responding.
@sashakiddo (1104)
• United States
26 Apr 11
I don't know what is so important for them to fit into the curriculum when they teach everything wrong anyway. Cursive should be the least of their worries of time wasting. At least it's fun! They should worry about teaching children the wrong history about Thanksgiving, that would be first on my list.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
27 Apr 11
There does seem to be other things that should take precedence. Thanks for responding.
• United States
26 Apr 11
I know right? I learned cursive in, I believe, 4th grade? And now teachers say "Oh well, it'll be useless in 10 years."
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Apr 11
I don't think it will be useless. I have taken full advantage of knowing it..lol..I use it as second nature. I think there is always a time and a place for everything and there may come a time when a person needed to be able to use handwriting skills. Thanks for responding and welcome to myLot!