To Cursive or Not To Cursive ~ That is the QUESTION!

4:00 AM

Do you love to write in cursive?  That's my preferred way to write, however, in an informal poll among adult and young adult friends and acquaintances, most would rather print ~ which leads to today's topic:

to cursive or not to cursive

Background Information

 Since 2010, forty-two U.S. states, Washington, D.C., four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the Common Core State Standards which do not require cursive handwriting because it is not a skill needed to succeed in college and/or the job market..  Consequently, students have stopped learning cursive as a way for school systems to save time and money.  This way students can focus on as using technology which emphasizes typing skills.  

Does this mean that students don't need to learn to write their signatures?  Will they use a fingerprint or some technological personal identification system on  their driver's licenses/checks (could be on the way to extinction anyway)/employment and credit card applications/important legal documents?  A signature is as unique to a person as said fingerprint!

Advantages of Cursive

Today a handful of states require students to learn cursive, and more states are jumping on board as cursive makes a comeback.  According to an aricle on the Pros and Cons of Cursive, writing in cursive has been proven to have educational and neurological advantages:

*It develops fine motor skills.

*It is easier to take notes because cursive is continuous writing.

*Students remember and internalize more information when writing above-mentioned notes down. (especially important as one ages!)

*Students' writing skills and the quality of their writing improve. 

*Cursive helps students with dyslexia to group and space out letters so they can read more easily.

advantages of cursive

My favorite reason for keeping cursive is the ability to read primary sourced documents which are all written in cursive!

So ~ Why Don't More People Write In Cursive?

From my limited poll, most people simply prefer printing and/or typing.  To them, writing in cursive is slow-going and frustrating (that's how I used to feel when I had to text in my old flip phone while my children could whip out a text message in seconds just using two fingers!).  Knowing how to type and use a computer prepare students for college and careers, and this supports the goals of the Common Core.  Plus, computers, smaller devices such as i-pads and cell phones all use typing which is much quicker than printing or cursive.  Oh, and let's not forget spell and grammar checks!  The computer can do this for you - although it's always better to check over your writing/typing even if there are no obvious spelling errors.  Students probably learn this lesson the hard way because checking over one's work is tedious and time-consuming.  I usually find that it's harder to find your own mistakes anyway.

The Bottom Line

Being able to communicate clearly in writing - whether in printing, cursive or typing - is the skill that matters most in college, in your job and in your life.  Communicating is hard enough as it is so kids should have a choice in how to express themselves while writing.  

Personally, I'll always be a proponent of cursive writing because it's easier than printing and lends a personal touch.  Plus, being able to write your "John Hancock" could be your lasting legacy!

What do you think?  I'd love to hear your opinion!  Please leave a comment.

by Susan K.

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  1. I feel that students need to be introduced to cursive, learn to read cursive, but not master it. I don't think they should be required to write multi page reports in cursive. Keyboarding is way more important. My husband grew up in England where they learned joined writing instead of cursive which is a much simpler shorthand when writing short notes.

  2. I agree! I miss teaching cursive. I try to fit it in, but it's not easy. I'd much rather write in cursive any day! Thanks for the comment!


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