OMG!!! Kids no longer being taught cursive, PL 2013 group talking on FB

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Posted 2/3/2013 by In The Shadow in General Scrappin'
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In The Shadow

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Posted: 2/3/2013 4:29:10 PM
One of the gals on FB Project Life 2013 Group, age 20, saying she never learned cursive and it is hard to read. NOW what... scrap gals friends, do we start printing?????

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PeaNut 52,171
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Posted: 2/3/2013 4:31:15 PM
Isn't it ridiculous?!? Guess they'll never be able to read old documents and letters.

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PeaNut 15,878
May 2001
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Posted: 2/3/2013 4:35:54 PM
It should interesting to see what happens when these kids have to sign checks and other documents.

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PeaNut 101,443
August 2003
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Posted: 2/3/2013 4:37:16 PM
I have heard of that lately. The schools just don't take the time to teach it anymore since everything is done on the computer. I think I better start printing in my scrapbooks since the main reason I'm doing this is for future generations. If they are never taught to read it, they still won't know the story. It's really sad but I think it's the sign of the times and our grandkids and great-grandkids are the ones that will suffer for it in the long run. But, since I'll be dead and gone, I won't be around to translate my cursive so I'd better start printing.


PeaNut 2,803
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Posted: 2/3/2013 4:38:08 PM
I teach high school anatomy. Just this week I had issues with kids providing their signature on some forms. They kept wanting to print. I thought I was going to loose my mind trying to get signatures from them.


PeaNut 271,557
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Posted: 2/3/2013 4:39:31 PM
Just my personal preference, but I like to print better. I did learn cursive and ONLY use it in scrapping or art journaling for design/artistic purposes.

My grandmother and aunt used to send my letters in cursive and they were difficult to read. They had messy handwriting (and it was not due to age).

But it is nice to see their handwriting, print or cursive. So I print my journal by hand, unless it is really long.

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PeaNut 44,256
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Posted: 2/3/2013 4:39:31 PM
With our progress into the digital age, cursive was dropped when many states adopted the Common Core State Standards. This is a huge "soapbox" issue for me. When you write a check or buy something expensive with a credit card, you need to know how to sign your name. What about when you buy a car or a house? An entire generation of children won't be able to read letters from grandparents or even the Declaration of Independence and other historical documents. I'm sure for legal things like purchases, there will be solutions. They can read historical documents because they're online and in books. But, what about those love letters sent by their grandparents or recipes lovingly written and passed down? Those little things are important too. I teach third grade and have been at the same school for ten years. We're not a public school though. While we have adopted the CCSS, I still teach cursive. I hope I'm allowed to for many years to come. At the very least, I'll make sure my daughter learns how to write and read cursive.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 2/3/2013 4:46:37 PM
My DS is in third grade in California at a school where cursive was being phased out, but parents were concerned so a volunteer started leading a "station" (like a rotating activity) where they could work on cursive. Ultimately, the teacher began teaching it again. I think it was a time issue and the Common Core thing; maybe they don't include it unless parents express interest? I noticed several parents are teaching it at home.

I can understand not needing to write cursive (other than signature), but it doesn't seem like it would be that hard for anyone to decipher legible cursive. Really the only things to be aware of are the lower case n, m, and r. Maybe lower case s.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 4:47:26 PM
My kids have beautiful cursive writing. They go to Catholic school. My daughter took the PSAT in the fall and you had to write a statement (saying who you are taking the test) and many of the kids could not do it. She said a couple of the kids got really upset. I would hate for that to happen to someone as they are getting ready to take a major test.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 2/3/2013 4:50:58 PM
My son is in the 5th grade here in CA. His teacher requires them to do "daily oral language" in cursive. His reports and stories are to be either typed or in cursive. I don't see it being phased out in our school.


PeaNut 210,542
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Posted: 2/3/2013 4:51:57 PM
I too am so sad over this. There are countless studies demonstrating the learning of cursive writing helps with language fluency and develops neural pathways that printing does not.

The private school we are attempting to get our daughter into teaches cursive first (they do not teach printing until grade 4) as a result. Now it is a language school (both Spanish and Mandarin) so that may be the push due to evidence that it improves fluency.

However, there are so many studies documenting the benefits on the brain development of learning cursive that I am shocked it is being removed from the public school system. This is the last year it will taught in the public schools in our area as well.

Wise~old Pea

PeaNut 17,460
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Posted: 2/3/2013 5:15:00 PM
Just had this discussion with a friend the other day. She has to remember to print any notes she leaves for her 13 yr old son.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 2/3/2013 5:47:01 PM
My youngest is 10 and she learned cursive - but I do hear many schools are phasing it out. If my children hadn't already learned it- I'd teach them myself. I think it's a skill they need personally. And yes, they would lose so much historical and family history if they couldn't read cursive. Sad.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 5:55:57 PM
Who says a signature has to be in cursive? My signature started off as cursive but has moved to terrible printing is much more legible. I teach special education and we are just happy when the students can write their first and last names because then they have a signature, cursive or not.
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Posted: 2/3/2013 5:56:19 PM
I'm 24 and know how to read and write cursive! I learned at home first then at school because I would read the letters my grandma would send my mom .

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PeaNut 14,286
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Posted: 2/3/2013 5:58:40 PM
My 6th grade dd, learned cursive in elementary school. I'm not sure if they are phasing it our of our elementary schools here or not, but she has also used it in middle school & it's second nature to her now.

My ds's currently in collge, also learned cursive & used it through high school as well.


PeaNut 556,376
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Posted: 2/3/2013 6:12:46 PM
Learning enough cursive to write a paragraph and your signature and spending years in school learning it are two very different things. I'm 20. We learned cursive in second and third grade, then had to use it for EVERYTHING in fourth and fifth grade. we all unceremoniously ditched it when we got to sixth grade and our teachers were grateful for it. To be honest, I do think that in this day and age it's not worth it anymore. If the switch out is between cursive and typing - which it often is - then I'd say typing is much more important.

By the way, I pretty much print my signature. It's all print letters just run together. I did the same thing on the PSAT and the SAT. No one's ever said anything to me.

There's also a reason most typefaces you see are print typefaces, and why students are forbidden from submitting text in script fonts. It's unnecessarily difficult to read.

As for historical documents... family documents may be lost, but historians actually study handwriting as a part of their education.


PeaNut 547,251
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Posted: 2/3/2013 6:22:21 PM
My daughters are in 7th grade and 3rd grade and they don't teach cursive at their schools in MS. My oldest learned a few basic shapes before they stopped so everything is in print now. I have been teaching them on my own but with me youngest being ADHD it is difficult. The teachers said it was pointless to teach them since everything is on computers now.



PeaNut 576,169
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Posted: 2/3/2013 6:50:41 PM
I'm 26. I learned in school,and so did my younger siblings. It was a HUGE waste of time and energy, IMO. In 7th grade, my school made us take keyboarding. THAT was possibly the most useful class I have had, including grad school classes. Typing quickly and accurately has been a huge help to me; if my kid's school had to choose between teaching one or the other, I hope they'd pick keyboarding.

I'm confused. I could read cursive - my mom's handwriting or notes from aunts/uncles, for example - before I could write in cursive. How the heck are people NOT going to understand what they're reading? It's cursive, not a foreign language.

Love Letters Pea

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Posted: 2/3/2013 6:59:27 PM
I was taught cursive but I don't use it. Stopped using it in about the tenth grade. My handwriting is excellent--so readable and precise that I've been asked to make signs for stores (before the time when even the smallest stores started doing computer generated signs).

Cursive is just one of those things that has outlived its usefulness.

Most people have a signature that's not legible anyway.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 26,836
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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:03:29 PM
I think it will be fine. I do think it might be tricky at first, but I think that even if they don't learn to write it, kids will likely be able to figure it out.

After all, the cursive of 100 years ago can look quite different than the cursive of today, and many people are still able to decipher it.

In fact there are many online resources to help you with the quirks of older style writing in case it is stumping you, particularly in genealogy.

So, maybe in 50 years, someone will be using a website (or some other cool way of obtaining information) to figure out my cursive.

Zanette McCoy

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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:04:53 PM
Im 24 i learned cursive in school, so did my younger sisters. I don't use it anymore except for my signature. I can read it and write it legibly it just seems to take me longer to write it.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:28:48 PM
I'm 24. I was taught how to write cursive (sort of, I never did learn to make S's and Z's correctly and my cursive is ugly as heck) but I've only ever really used it to sign my name in an illegible fashion.

I can read MOST cursive, but sometimes it's a bit difficult. My grandmother, for instance, has very pretty writing that can be hard to read at times. My husband's is easy to read and very beautiful -- he was taught by nuns. He'll be teaching the kids cursive.

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:36:01 PM
While I understand that things change and almost everything is done on a keyboard these days, I still feel that handwriting skills are important. I find it incredibly sad that cursive writing is no longer being taught in our schools, and cheer the parents who are teaching their children at home this important skill.

My DS is 23 and was taught cursive but prefers to print. He can read cursive, but doesn't really like to.

I'm 52 and have used cursive handwriting since I taught how to. I use it in my scrapbooks and have no intention of changing. It is part of me. My handwriting identifies me.

One of my favorite photos is an engagement photo of my parents that was taken in 1960. On the back in my father's wonderful cursive handwriting is written, "To my future wife at the time of our engagement". It isn't so much what it says. It's his beautiful handwriting that brings so much emotion to me because I know that's his handwriting. Print just doesn't resonate with me in the same way.

My father could have put that photo in a typewriter and typed the message on the back I suppose. And he's been in the IT business since the 1960's when they called it "date processing" so I guess he could have even done it with a keyboard. But it wouldn't have been as personal or given the same feeling as his beautiful script handwriting does.

Debbie in MD.

Texan Peain In Minnesota

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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:41:49 PM
My daughter learned cursive writing in elementary but doesn't use it in Junior High. She does sign her name on papers and documents in cursive though and can read it. My husband can read and write cursive but hasn't used since he was in grade school. He hates it and prefers print.

Then there is me who only writes in cursive it just feels natural.When I have to print something it bugs the daylights out of me.

I'm happy that our son will learn cursive writing as well in elementary. I just hope he enjoys it as much as I do.


PeaNut 1,038
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:01:55 PM
Last I heard, 42 states had stopped teaching cursive in schools. Rather, they were treating it as an "elective" activity. I NEVER thought I would live in a society where this was NOT a required element of education. For me, learning cursive taught me self-discipline, patience and the importance of practice to acheive a desired outcome. But we do live in a culture where most kids can't even make eye contact with another person because ALL they do is text, text, text.


PeaNut 149,833
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:19:47 PM
My 5th grade triplets learned cursive in second grade and have to use it on a daily basis in school. They still teach it in our school district of 21 elementary schools.

Liana - Mom to triplets (11) plus one (7)


PeaNut 567,835
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:28:35 PM
I don't think not being able to write in cursive is such a big deal, but like the above poster stated, it doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to at least know how to read cursive.

Why was cursive invented in the first place anyways??


PeaNut 556,456
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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:00:03 PM
That is crazy. My son is on kindergarten so I haven't heard this! My DH has the worst printing I have ever seen and I doubt his cursive is more than a scribble, and DS is left handed so I will have to think hard if teaching him myself is worth it.

I do have a friend whose daughter goes to a local Baptist school and they start with cursive in kindergarten. So some schools do teach it.

And my sister is 25 and both knows and uses it - she went to public school.

I think doing away with it is a shame.
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PeaNut 556,376
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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:30:55 PM
Everyone seems to assume that if you're not writing in cursive, you're barely stringing together letters in print. My print is also quite nice. One of my best friends' print is almost indistinguishable from Courier, the font. I think it's sad in the same way that it was sad when they stopped teaching bookkeeping. Some folks will always think of it as a necessary skill. Others will be thankful it's gone in favor of other subjects. Both are entirely valid - parts will be missed, others won't. Cursive sure is great for testing your motor skills. Even now I can barely concentrate on all those little loops.

P.S. - I'm the 20 year old referenced in the original post


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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:22:30 PM
It's not a requirement in our schools either. My dd 14 didn't really learn it - we blame it on her 3rd grade male teacher not teaching it. Though when she got to 4th her spelling tests were in cursive so she got deducted on her tests if she had too many humps for a "n", I was furious since it wasn't taught to her. SOOO I worked with her @ home. 5th grade most things turned in were supposed to be cursive - after that noone cared.

NOW she's in hs & they don't have textbooks. Talk about weird. BUT get this...they are supposed to use their issued laptops for everything but they still require them to HANDWRITE notes....WHAT!????


PeaNut 128,766
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:40:57 PM
I had no clue it was dropped. My youngest graduated high school in 2010 so she learned how to write in cursive.... I understand the didgital age and all, but shouldn't that just be something they learn to be well-rounded?


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PeaNut 226,382
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Posted: 2/3/2013 11:48:37 PM
My DDs are 6th and 4th grade and neither has been taught cursive. They say there's just not enough room in the curriculum anymore - sad!


PeaNut 16,888
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Posted: 2/3/2013 11:54:33 PM
I have three college-aged sons. They all learned to write in cursive in 3rd grade, I believe. They were required to use cursive for a couple of years in school, but as soon as it wasn't required anymore all three went back to printing. Honestly, I think the time would have been better spent teaching keyboarding skills.

I'm 44 and my husband is 50. We both print. I haven't written in cursive since I was in junior high.


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Ursula Schneider

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Posted: 2/4/2013 12:14:48 AM
It is much faster to write in cursive and I believe that is the reason for it's usefulness. If cursive is taught properly from an early age and used regularly (and expected to be done legibly) then it is a really useful skill to have. It also becomes natural and faster for the average person to write in cursive given the previously stated conditions of learning.

It makes me sad to see it go too. I wonder how long before all hand writing will no longer be valid. In my mind, the skill of writing lends itself to so many important aspects of personal developement. This would be particularly true for the artists as it hones hand/eye coordination. You learn about pressure and creating strokes. Writing is also a way than many people learn. It helps to solidify concepts in the mind. It is theraputic/healing.

Very sad to see it go. But then, I'm sad in general with the direction our society is headed.

Dabbling in Digi

PeaNut 65,255
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Posted: 2/4/2013 12:19:51 AM
It's interesting how different people's experiences are. I was taught cursive in 4th grade back in the 60's...I was left handed and when it was discovered in 5th grade, I had to switch to right handed (due to the ridiculous belief that left-handedness was associated with communism somehow). Anyway my cursive suffered that year until I learned to control my writing. nearly 40 years later I still write mostly in is faster, and my handwriting is usually easy to read, except when I'm in too much of a hurry. However printing is very slow for me.

Of course keyboarding is faster than both, but not always an option (I don't have any of those fancy phones or Ipads). My sons (who are 14) but were in different classes in 3rd grade, one was taught cursive the other not. Except for one teacher, all the other teachers at that school no longer teach cursive. Both have gone back to printing (although often not very legibly) now that they are in middle school, and neither read cursive very well. I'd be ok with that, but what is missing is teaching good keyboarding skills if you are expected to do most of your work using a computer. My boys still do way too much 2 finger typing. I try to explain if they learned proper keyboarding skills they could type quicker and more accurately but they don't believe me...

I find not having had the discipline to learn cursive has hindered them when learning to write legible japanese. Their japanese teacher struggles to read their papers and complains quite often. The kids just don't want to take the time to make their work readible. Next year they will be in high school and I worry that it will come back to bite them. Personally I think learning to read/write cursive is a good thing and am sad to see it being eliminated in our school system.

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Posted: 2/4/2013 12:21:59 AM
I agree with Ursula - it is MUCH faster to write in cursive. I believe all productive individuals, especially ladies, should be able to write in cursive. I homeschool my daughter and we made it an important part of her learning process. She does most of her work in cursive and enjoys knowing how to make something look nice and "fancy" as she calls it.


PeaNut 556,376
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Posted: 2/4/2013 1:15:33 AM
Doesn't what's faster depend on the person? I can print five pages of notes in a 45 minute lecture. It's never occurred to me to do so faster. I've seen people print fast, I've seen people use cursive fast - and I've seen some people do either really slowly! I have learned some great reasons for keeping cursive in schools, from this thread. It's just unfortunate that there's so much that can fit. I wonder if anything can provide these benefits can take its place? Surely something has (there are still going to be artists I imagine)?

Although I am a little embarrassed that in the 21st century handwriting is "more important" for ladies than men.

I believe all productive individuals, especially ladies, should be able to write in cursive.

I always forget that there's quite a generation gap in scrapbooking!


PeaNut 560,243
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Posted: 2/4/2013 2:56:26 AM
I am turning 30 in two months and I was never taught cursive writing. I can read it, but can't write it. I generally print and some of my letters do join up like cursive but I could never write completely in cursive.


PeaNut 532,844
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Posted: 2/4/2013 3:26:55 AM
I'm 21 and I was taught 'joining' as we call it here.

I think it's much better looking and so I still write like that. Not exactly how I was taught, but my own little amalgamation of styles. I remember when I was about 14 or 15 I found some letters from my great-grandpa back to my great-grandma during the war and I loved his writing. I filled up a whole notebook trying to emulate it and never got close. I also tried to teach myself to write left-handed, so I am a bit weird.

I don't understand how not being taught to write it means people won't be able to read it. That just sounds like these kids are stupid, not just uneducated in handwriting.

Leader of the Banned

PeaNut 52,171
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Posted: 2/4/2013 7:36:28 AM

Doesn't what's faster depend on the person? I can print five pages of notes in a 45 minute lecture. It's never occurred to me to do so faster. I've seen people print fast, I've seen people use cursive fast - and I've seen some people do either really slowly!

Cursive is typically faster because you're not lifting your pen up and down to the paper as much. Of course, some people are going to print faster than if they did cursive because they got more practice/comfortable with print. All things being equal, it would generally be cursive that would be quicker.

I'm more of a cursive person though mine tends to be a bit hybrid in the formation of a few letters. And I tend to interchange r's and s's in both forms. Sometimes I use cursive/rounded v's and w's and sometimes they're more print/pointy. And if I'm printing I'm more likely to use a cursive q and sometimes z.

As for the question about signatures and cursive - because they're supposed to be like a fingerprint and it's harder to forge a cursive/scribbly signature than a printed one.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 31,617
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:00:39 AM
Meh...we as a society can just transition to allowing signatures in print. Pretty soon there will be few printed signatures anyway; electronic signing is already so prevalent.

And I think just because you don't know how to write cursive doesn't mean you can't read cursive. It's not THAT different; and rarely does a person who writes cursive use proper form anyway. I know that when I sign my name there are at least three characters that are not proper form.

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PeaNut 18,232
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:06:22 AM
My kids were SO excited to start learning cursive - they love to write their name in it.

While it makes me sad to know it's no longer being taught in most schools, it makes me really sad to think that people won't be able to READ it. I had never really thought about that.


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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:25:29 AM
i missed that post and i belong to that group wowsa

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PeaNut 570,639
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:36:28 AM
I agree with guzismom. Personally, my handwriting looks so much better than my printing. I am also very slow at printing.

The pea formerly known as GIPfunny

Gone Walkabout

PeaNut 4,068
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:46:53 AM
My girls are in middle and high school and both learned cursive. We've lived in 7 states, and all of them taught cursive. Its not always encouraged like it used to be - that is, they don't care if they actually use it or not... that's been our experience anyway.

Its sad to hear if its true.


PeaNut 128,923
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:51:52 AM
Oh wow, I remember being so excited to begin learning to write in cursive. It felt like such a grown up step in life as a young child.

My 3 children were all taught cursive. It will be odd to think of cursive as a dying practice.


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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:54:33 AM
I often wonder how I became such a cursive fan. I learned cursive in third grade with a very strict, old-school teacher who kept you in at recess if your writing was messy. I did not see much of the playground in third grade as a result! We had a typing module in seventh grade with a very young, up to date teacher who motivated by extra credit or prizes for fast typing speeds. I was a total sucker for extra credit and left his class with something like 120% or something stupid, and a pretty crazy wpm for a seventh grader. I am so glad we learned to type as we wrote and not the text speak and shortened stuff of today! I remember a classmate thinking she was cool and using 'the 411' on a paper and the teacher refusing to grade it as a result.

I am sure I grumbled a lot about all that time spent on writing and typing, but as an adult I am ridiculously grateful for both those teachers, and the fact that our whole school system expected all work (except maths and science formulae) to be written in cursive or typed at home. (Of course at that point typing was never a requirement because a computer at home was far more rare, so we had the option of writing out neatly for a formal assignment or typing it if we preferred. Because we shared one computer for the whole family, that fast typing came in useful even before I left home!). At university, I often felt those were two of the most important skills I had from school - and also some shorthand learned in debate class for the type of professor who talked for two hours straight and expected you to remember every word!

I too am so sad over this. There are countless studies demonstrating the learning of cursive writing helps with language fluency and develops neural pathways that printing does not.

This is what concerns me most in cursive writing and indeed drafting by hand disappearing from the curriculum. When I left teaching (I've been out of the classroom for five years now), students were arriving in my school age 12 without real cursive, but instead a sort of printing with rounded edges. They were already used to the idea of drafting at the computer and wanted to work that way by default. As an English teacher I found their writing was always better developed when they drafted by hand first. There was a real weakness where this generation had always seen computers as a normal part of life and as a result were not taught to type. They might know how to do pretty much everything available in a piece of software but they still depended on hunt and peck typing... Which at least made their reliance on text speak make slightly more sense, if no less frustrating.

When I studied memory and the link to the narrative, it was always suggested to write in cursive at all times unless your writing was completely illegible even to yourself. The fluidity of the movement works with the fluidity of linking one memory to the next or picturing a memory and finding the details. With so much of the digital age diminishing our memories (who needs to remember world facts when we can google it when we need the info?), it does concern me that the generation that are young now will have a very difficult time remembering their childhood - all the better that we're keeping scrapbooks!

So... I don't have any plan to stop writing in cursive, since it certainly produces my most fluent memories. Perhaps I'll need to make a key of what my letters look like so it can be read in the future?! Or I might just risk it.

love & glitter,
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PeaNut 7,478
October 2000
Posts: 339
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Posted: 2/4/2013 9:06:48 AM
I've taught in elementary schools for 15 years, most of those years in third and fourth grade. I loved teaching cursive writing! Our district still includes cursive writing as a part of its curriculum in third and fourth grades. However, we are having discussions about whether we should continue to do so, mostly due to the increase in rigor in the core subjects and the time it takes to teach them. At one meeting with administrators and grade level team leaders, I was the only one writing notes in cursive, the others were all printing-I found that really surprising! We have looked at a lot of research and have found a hard time finding INDEPENDENT research supporting the benefits in fluency and neural processing. Of course the companies that produce cursive teaching materials are in a panic, and they are publishing a lot of their research findings, which may or may not be valid, but we can't base a decision on research done by a company trying to sell us their product. There is a Johns Hopkins study "showing that their subjects’ brains actually changed in reaction to physical instruction such as cursive handwriting lessons." Notice that it says "such as cursive writing", other areas of the study state the benefits are from practicing motor skills, which can be done in many different ways. I will be sad if we drop it from our curriculum, but with all the things we are required to teach, and the fact that most kids who are taught cursive don't use it unless required to do so, I can see it happening.

Thrift Whisperer

PeaNut 114,407
November 2003
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Loc: At the intersection of Hooterville and Stars Hollow

Posted: 2/4/2013 9:51:25 AM
I understand they are going to quit teaching it in school but don't understand why people seem to believe that if the school doesn't teach it then it cannot possibly be learned.

Like many things that provide beauty and culture - teach it at home. They don't provide etiquette and piano lessons in most public schools either but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

As for legibility to future generations? Very old handwriting is often difficult to decipher NOW. This has always been and will always be. Those that care enough will figure it out.

I think this is much ado about nothing.

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