Should kids learn cursive handwriting?

by GrreatTeacher 37 Replies latest social current

  • GrreatTeacher

    I am an elementary school teacher of the fourth grade. In times past, students would start learning cursive handwriting in third grade and by fourth should be transitioning to writing in cursive at all times.

    As you might be aware, this has all but been taken out of the curriculum. It is still approved for teaching, but there is zero time devoted to it in our daily curriculum. This means I can snatch a moment here and there to teach a few cursive letters, but there is no systematic training anymore.

    The practical result of that is that not only can students not write in cursive, but they can't read it either! So, I now use manuscript writing on the board.

    I can't afford to have a professional opinion on this because the curriculum is the curriculum. I don't get to choose it, I just teach it. I understand in some ways the argument that as everything goes digital, cursive handwriting won't be a necessity anymore.

    But, the loss of knowledge bothers me. I have a bulletin board in my class with copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and not one student can read them!

    Not only that, but handwriting is such a personalized thing. Nobody else's handwriting is just like yours. That's the reason that signatures are so powerful and can provide proof on important documents.

    What do you think? Is it worth fighting against the tide? Should I be more forward looking and try to eek out more time for keyboarding practice instead? I would love to hear your opinions!

    PS On a related note, so many 9 year olds cannot read an analog clock, either! They will literally ask me what time it is and I just point to the clock. Then they sneak up to my computer to read the digital time in the corner of my screen! And telling time on an analog clock is still in the curriculum!

  • the girl next door
    the girl next door

    The way I approached this with my kids is to teach them at home. They did not learn handwriting or how to read an anolog clock from school. They learned how to be really quick on a keyboard but they did not learn proper form and will never type at professional speed because of it.

    I encourage “the arts” because so much of it has been stripped from public schools. One dances, one is in the community theatre, one has learned the base, guitar, piano. None of which were offered in school anymore.

    More to your point,

    Handwriting is an art. A practical one. We should hold onto it. I would also push some instruction for calligraphy.

    We are losing a lot of skills because of the advancement of technology. Skills that will be missed if we find ourselves without that technology.

  • Simon

    I think good handwriting, like good grammar and punctuation is an important skill. Lesser than the others maybe, because in real life we usually type things now, but nothing beats a beautifully handwritten note. No one is ever going to auction and frame the original printed lyrics of todays music like they do old songs.

  • oppostate

    Heck yeah! We should teach cursive, in fact we should teach calligraphy and the beauty of letters and fonts.

    Other cultures, Arabic, Chinese, still put a lot of value in the art of handwriting.

    And concerning publishing technology and graphic arts, choosing the right font can make quite a difference in marketing and advertising.

  • GrreatTeacher

    Oppostate, that is a good point regarding choosing the right font. I had never considered it because academic writing is typically specified as Times New Roman or Arial. But, choosing a specific font could be seen as personal expression. Interesting.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    @GreatTeacher - when you say 'cursive handwriting' do you mean that slanted, elaborate style or do you just mean joined up letters?

    Other cultures, Arabic, Chinese, still put a lot of value in the art of handwriting - I can read and write some Arabic. Arabic is kinda 'obligatory cursive' - whenever you type or write Arabic words the letters must be joined up ('cursive'). The one exception to this is Arabic crosswords.

    أنا أحبّ فنجان قهوة صباحاً.

    ^^^ beautiful, isn't it ^^^

  • scruffmcbuff

    Cursive writing is taught here in the UK.

    Ive always struggled with my handwriting but i know how to write in cursive as do most if not all my peers.

    It wouls be a shame if children where to miss out on learning it.

  • caves

    My, how times changed quick.

    I take pride in cursive hand writing. I like to write letters and most always in cursive.

    A little off topic but I learned that Latin was taught in 25% or more american high schools, before I entered school. I felt like I got ripped off.

  • GrreatTeacher

    Girl next door, I hear you on the Arts. Fortunately my school has visual arts, general music, chorus, media/ library and physical education. STEM has taken the place of technology where they used to learn keyboarding. So they really aren't getting much instruction on any kind of letter formation, digital or handwritten.

  • GrreatTeacher

    LUHE, in the US, the joined up letters are slightly slanted and this is considered cursive. The only other option are the block type manuscript letters that are individual and neither joined nor slanted. It's kindergarten printing or bust!

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