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Should Schools Still Teach Cursive?

Is this a waste of time?

We all learned cursive in elementary school, right? But, aside from signing your name, when is the last time you wrote in cursive? When is the last time you penned a letter, period? I recently wrote a letter and it was tiring and cumbersome. It felt very quaint, as if I had a feather quill and an ink well. And I printed, I didn’t use cursive. I never use cursive.

Is it important to you that your children learn cursive? It isn’t important anymore in one country.

TIME magazine reports that students in Indiana are no longer required to learn cursive.  The schools can decide for themselves whether or not they want to continue. “Instead, students will be expected to become proficient at keyboard use.”

Makes sense. Using a keyboard and typing is something all of us do several times a day. My husband, who turns 40 this year, never formally learned to type but has developed a sort of a pointer-finger shorthand that he can do almost as fast as I can type properly. In other words, typing is important and even though he didn’t learn how, he has been forced to adapt.  Cursive? Not so much.

Megan Beckstrom agrees. “I think its a lost art just like calligraphy. I know I don’t ever use cursive except to sign my name and even then I am not sure you can call it cursive.”

Although she regularly uses cursive Jennifer Farrell doesn’t think it should be required learning. “I still write in cursive far more than I print. But should it be taught? It’s not necessary. As long as someone can print they’re golden.”

Dad of two, Sebastian Nye, likes the middle ground. “Schools should teach it but not require it. I always found it incredibly cumbersome and slower than printing. It was frustrating to be tested on a method of scribing that was less efficient.

He should try writing cursive while left-handed. I learned cursive in third grade and haven’t used it since.  I hated cursive.  It’s for right-handers.  The letters flow together in a way that’s meant to be written by the right hand.  Think about it:  left-handed people have to write cursive letters backwards because they’re creating the letters from the back, or, in other words, “pushing” their hand across the page as they write.  It’s awkward and unwieldy.  Can I get an amen from any fellow left-handers out there?

We practiced our cursive letters on a plastic sheet with a grease pen, remember those?  I would get upset because my hand would erase what I’d just written as I moved along the page.  So I’ve never been a fan of cursive in the first place, feeling like it’s biased toward those born right-handed.  I’ve done just fine in life without it.  The only time I use cursive is when I sign my name and like Megan Beckstrom mentioned, is that really even cursive?  It’s more like my own sign that I’ve practiced.

Mom of two, Jenny Nehring, points out that children should still learn cursive for one very important reason. “How else are you going to read grandma’s b-day card?”

Excellent point. What do you think? Should cursive be taught in school or is it a lost art, hieroglyphics of the 20th century?

Are we that ancient? Tech Relics I’ll Have to Explain to My Kids!

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