We Must Teach Our Children Cursive

English: First page of Constitution of the Uni...
English: First page of Constitution of the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many schools are no longer teaching cursive. I’ve also talked to homeschool moms that tell me they aren’t teaching cursive in their school either. They simply see no use for it or a reason to teach it.

If our children are not taught to read cursive, they cannot read the founding documents of our country. They will have to rely on transcriptions of the original documents. When humans are involved, there are errors. Some unintentionally, but the worst kind of all are the intentional ones.

There are many other reasons to teach our kids cursive. But this, in my opinion, is the most important one of all. Look below at what a school in Texas is teaching their students about the first and second amendments. Imagine the implications if we had a nation of people that could not read the original documents this gibberish pretends to come from.

By Lori Camper

imgur: the simple image sharer.

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8 thoughts on “We Must Teach Our Children Cursive

  1. Wow! That is an incredibly disturbing text book passage! I am happy to report that my third grader is currently learning to write cursive in his public school in Missouri. He is also working on his first research paper and we will be spending a great deal of time talking about primary source material as well. Hopefully, though kids who have not been taught to write cursive will still be able to decipher it. It’s not as though cursive letters are hieroglyphs. Still, it’s a useful skill that I don’t think will ever be entirely replaced by typing. I’m grateful our school teaches it.

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    1. I realize there are many schools that still teach cursive. It frustrates me when I hear parents say that there is no reason to teach cursive anymore.

      In my school, we also learned cursive in third grade. Once we learned cursive, manuscript writing was “outlawed” so to speak. To this day, I find manuscript writing painful because I was not allowed to use it after third grade.

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  2. kategladstone

    Handwriting matters — reading cursive matters exceedingly — but does writing in cursive matter? Research shows that the fastest, clearest handwriters join only some letters: making the easiest joins, skipping others, using print-like forms of letters whose cursive and printed forms disagree. (Sources below.)

    Be ause reading cursive is crucial, it is fortunate that even small children can be taught to read writing that they are not taught to produce. Reading cursive can be taught in just 30 to 60 minutes — even to five- or six-year-olds, once they read ordinary print. (In fact, for the computer-abd-cellphones genetation there’s even a free iPad app to teach thm how: named. “Read Cursive,” of course — http://appstore.com/readcursive .) So why not ensure that all children learn to read cursive — along with learning other vital skills, including some handwriting style that’s actually typical of effective handwriters?

    Educated adults increasingly abandon cursive. In 2012, handwriting teachers were surveyed at a conference hosted by Zaner-Bloser, a publisher of cursive textbooks. Only 37 percent wrote in cursive; another 8 percent printed. The majority — 55 percent — wrote a hybrid: some elements resembling print-writing, others resembling cursive. (Source below.) When even most handwriting teachers shun cursive, why exalt it?

    What about signatures? In state and federal law, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over any other kind. (Hard to believe? Ask any attorney!) All writing, not just cursive, is individual — just as all writing involves fine motor skills. That is why any first-grade teacher can immediately identify (from print-writing on unsigned work) which student produced it.

    Mandating cursive to preserve handwriting resembles mandating stovepipe hats and crinolines to preserve the art of tailoring.

    SOURCES:

    Handwriting research on speed and legibility:

    /1/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, and Naomi Weintraub. “The Relation between Handwriting Style and Speed and Legibility.” JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, Vol. 91, No. 5 (May – June, 1998), pp. 290-296: on-line at http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/27542168.pdf

    /2/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, Naomi Weintraub, and William Schafer. “Development of Handwriting Speed and Legibility in Grades 1-9.”
    JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, Vol. 92, No. 1 (September – October, 1998), pp. 42-52: on-line at http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/27542188.pdf

    Zaner-Bloser handwriting survey: Results on-line at http://www.hw21summit.com/media/zb/hw21/files/H2937N_post_event_stats.pdf
    Background on our handwriting, past and present:
    3 videos, by a colleague, show why cursive is NOT a sacrament:

    A BRIEF HISTORY OF CURSIVE —

    TIPS TO FIX HANDWRITING —

    HANDWRITING AND MOTOR MEMORY
    (shows how to develop fine motor skills WITHOUT cursive) —

    [AUTHOR BIO: Kate Gladstone is the founder of Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works and the director of the World Handwriting Contest]

    Yours for better letters,

    Kate Gladstone
    Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works
    and the World Handwriting Contest
    http://www.HandwritingThatWorks.com

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  3. Not true! The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights were NOT written in “Cursive” but in Copperplate and Blackletter — which is probably why they’re still so legible today. Cursive is *just one style* of script writing, and absolutely not the best of them. Italic, Copperplate, Blackletter and other styles are far more legible, easier to learn, quicker to teach, and frankly more beautiful. Cursive, on the other paw, readily degenerates into the illegible scribble for which doctors are notorious — an illegibility that has caused thousands of deaths from “medical error”. If only for the lives it has cost, Cursive deserves to die!

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Leslie. I think the emphasis here is that we all need to be able to read various styles of script. As someone that is interested in genealogy, I know that sometimes it is much easier said than done.

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