I always loved writing in cursive, and still do. It’s such an elegant form of writing. Sadly, this beautiful form of artwork has been disappearing from schools for years. But that won’t prevent me from teaching my own children.
Common Core Standards don’t require cursive instruction, so when states adopt the standards, the decision to include cursive is made at the local level, by the district, schools and teachers. However, much of their instructional time is spent on teaching to standardized tests (a whole other issue). Therefore, teachers don’t have the time nor flexibility to add cursive instruction to the curriculum, so they’ve been dropping it altogether. It’s putting teachers in a tight spot with very little wiggle room.
There are reasons why some believe cursive is no longer necessary. One of the biggest reasons is the boom in technology, that typing is used and valued much more than handwriting. There’s keyboarding, so why do we need cursive?
While it’s true that technology is taking the world by storm, does that mean we should eliminate a form of writing that has been proven to be beneficial to children? A world where nobody would have their own personalized signature?
Eliminating cursive would be doing our children a disservice since there have been studies evidencing the benefits. Cursive has been found to stimulate the brain in many ways, more than printing or a keyboard ever would. For example, writing in cursive has been shown to increase comprehension when compared to print. The fluidity of cursive also allows writing to become quick and efficient, where kids can breeze through writing rather than printing each single letter one-by-one; thus enabling them to spend more time focusing on the actual content. Writing in cursive is helpful to those who are dyslexic, in addition to helping children develop strong fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It also allows kids to retain more information. Fueling creativity is another benefit of cursive. It’s important to also note that some kids write better in cursive than print. It’s easier for them, so why take that away?
Let’s face it…Cursive is an art form. There’s even curriculum available that incorporates cursive into actual art lessons.
If kids aren’t going to learn how to write in cursive, will they learn how to read it? What about historical documents? The Declaration of Independence comes to mind, one of the most important documents of our history. This summer, on Fourth of July, we went to an event where actors performed an excellent reenactment of the reading of the Declaration of Independence. We all received a copy of the declaration and my son said he couldn’t read it because it was in cursive. This is just another benefit of learning to write cursive. I want him to be able to read these documents and not confuse the writing with some form of ancient hieroglyphics.
If you’re upset about the absence of cursive in schools, hang in there. There are some great people fighting for its presence. Read here for an article on how cursive may be making a comeback. You can also teach cursive at home as well. It would be worth it, and most kids enjoy learning it. There are many books available to help with this.
In my opinion, utilizing just print is not only taking away the beauty of writing and creativity but also many other benefits as well. I don’t want my children to only have the option to print like a computer processor, but to use their minds in a way in which other forms of communication don’t. I don’t agree that just because we have technology, we should eliminate a form of writing that is beneficial to our kids. Without cursive, writing is robotic, with no fluidity or flow. Is that what we want? Education is about exercising the mind after all.
I’m very happy to continue to teach my kids this work of art called cursive. There are so many benefits that it would be crazy for me not to.