Monday, March 29, 2010

Should Cursive Be Required?

The debate rages. Should we require our children to learn cursive. Or for that matter should handwriting be focused on at all? With the age of computers came a massive lean towards typing school assignments as opposed to handwriting them. In fact, most high school and colleges require that reports be typed. So do we need to teach our younger children cursive?

I distinctly remember the day that my 1st grade class began to practice cursive. It was about 3 weeks before the end of the school year and wow was I excited! I was going to be writing like the big kids in 2nd grade! I remember spending hours from then on out doing homework assignments and being required to write in cursive. We even had penmanship tests weekly.

USA today reported that a 2007 nationwide study found that 90% of teachers were teaching cursive in schools that made it a requirement. Research showed that most teachers who did not teach it cited that there just wasn't enough time. The focus has shifted from the "beauty of hand writing to the efficiency of computer literacy".

So what's the answer? Should we be teaching our children cursive? Personally, I am leaning towards teaching it to mine. While I do not see that it will be a required skill when they get older I do think there is something to be said about having the ability to compose a beautifully written paper (literally). I also see some value in the hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills it takes to form cursive letters.

Here are some other articles on cursive writing:

Is this the end of cursive?

Is cursive worth teaching?

Death to cursive writing

Tell me your thoughts on cursive!

picture credit: www.fragranceoftruth.wordpress/judas-asparagus


Brandie said...

We have to have a signature, which is in cursive, so imo it still needs to be taught.

julie said...

I have heard this argument even among homeschool parents. It seems crazy and absurd to me even to question it. I have taught my kids cursive and honestly they write MUCH better in cursive than they do manuscript. I use SWR for spelling/Reading...which I adore, and they really push a curriculum called Cursive First. This is info from them on why it is important.

All taken from
"Cursive writing involves a flowing, uninterrupted movement which reinforces the left-to-right directionality of our written language. The connected writing allows for continuous flow of thought and thinking ahead while writing. It also reinforces the beginning and ending of words, with proper spacing of letters, unlike manuscript."

"Several educators and publishers are now recognizing that teaching cursive writing from the beginning actually facilitates the reading and spelling processes." ABeka Books states, "We also strengthen the child's reading skills. By joining letters, cursive writing reinforces the blending of sounds within words" (ABeka, 2003).

My own words... not to mention that not everyone has computers at their fingertips! And what if you don't have electricity! Or you just want to write instead of type? It seems lazy and disconnected to suggest that we only need computers... what is this world coming to?

Brandie said...

Very well said Julie =) I agree!

Anna said...

Thank you Julie! I can tell you have thought about this before!