Cursive Writing: Worthwhile?

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Cursive Writing: Worthwhile?
Tue, 09-03-2013 - 1:04pm

Last week, elementary school students returned to the classroom in Archdale, N.C., with a new subject on the mandatory agenda: cursive writing. It’s a debate that has been simmering among experts, parents andteachers all summer, with some arguing that, in a digital age, mandatory cursive instruction is a step backwards while others believe it’s a long-held cultural tradition worth preserving.

Signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory in June, the State’s “Back to Basics” bill requires all North Carolina public schools to teach cursive (as well as memorization of the multiplication tables), and that students are able to create “readable documents” in “legible cursive handwriting” by the end of fifth grade. The nationalCommon Core Standards do not include handwriting, so the 45 states that have adopted the curriculum so far are free to pass legislation that requires cursive.

Learning cursive writing: Is it worthwile or a waste of time? -

Where do you stand on the issue?  Is it worthwhile for students to learn cursive handwriting?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Mon, 09-16-2013 - 2:13am

Of course it should be taught, it's an efficient, practical method of writing and also enables people the ability to read the writings of others who use the script.  The same "progressive" sots that think we should throw away cursive writing would probably also advocate throwing away traditional spelling in favor of the more modern "appreviated," "phonetic" method used by "texters," and support doing away with math in favor of handing out calculators.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Sat, 09-07-2013 - 9:48am

My kids are 25 and 23 and they still write cursively. But they both went to university; note taking and writing exams etc.. And  in elementary and high school, they wrote all their tests and exams.

They started to learn in in Grade 2. It's not such a big deal to learn.

Avatar for 3togetready
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-19-1999
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 6:48pm

When I was a kid in third grade you learned cursive writing and then that was how you were to write everything in class. I have three children 26, 17, and16 and they all learned cursive in third grade but never had to use it. They can all sign their names but that it about it. I only write in cursive and tell thm it is a much faster way to write. They think I'm old and crazy. lol 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 4:15pm

How about signing one's name?

Until we are using retinal scans, there will be stil a need for people to sign documents. Printed signatures are very easy to forge.

Learning to write cursive is not that difficult. It is also good to help develop fine motor skills. Next, they will say that kids learning to print is a waste of time. They can type everything so why bother.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 10:13am

This is exactly what I was thinking, Catherine. People who don't learn cursive won't be able to read it, and even in a digital age, not every antique document has been digitized. Anyone who takes a history class in college will be required, at least once, to look at primary source documents written in cursive. It's hard enough for someone who does know modern cursive to read something in an 18th or 19th century hand, but it will be impossible for someone who can only print or type.

I don't think kids should be graded on their handwriting, merely taught the basics, but they should learn how to read and write cursive. This is basic literacy, IMO.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Wed, 09-04-2013 - 9:48am

Since I started researching the history of my 1850 house, and the families that have lived in it - I realized how important it will be for future generations to be able to read cursive writing. Imagine a day when our decendants look back at diaries, journals, letter, notes, backs of photos, etc of our ancesters - and be completely unable to read them??

Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Wed, 09-04-2013 - 9:45am

I am not sure that forcing cursive writing is worthwhile but I do see the need to make sure that a child can produce a handwritten readable document. I homeschool my children and while I did teach them cursive, I do allow them to use whatever style of writing they choose for documents or daily work as long as they are neat and legible. Since we do live in a world where most things are typed and printed, I have put far more emphasis on keyboarding skills and proper document format than handwriting.

Community Leader

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 09-04-2013 - 4:35am
Sadly, not worthwhile. In recent past years my kids have just brought home these workbooks that they've been allowed to keep to develop the skill but there's not a lot of emphasis in school anymore.



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2012
Tue, 09-03-2013 - 3:05pm

I think it is a total waste of time.  Wouldn't it be more wise in this day and age to spend the time teaching children how to be technologically literate?