Recently a young mother told me that her daughter, who is in middle school, has never been taught to cursive write in the public school. “Oh, they don’t even teach cursive writing anymore,” she said. “All the kids print.”
Most schools still have cursive writing as part of the curriculum in second, third, and even fourth grade, yet they give little time to it. Why? Testing, testing, testing. Everything is based on test scores-the teachers’ jobs, funding for education, school grades, promotions, etc. It’ s absurd how little time is spent on basic skills. Does anyone care if students acquire a well-rounded education? Teachers and parents do but the politicians don’t listen. Our schools have been turned into giant test centers where test scores are the only thing that really matters.
Some of my high school students have said, “I can’t read cursive writing. Would you please print on the board?” Furthermore, lots of high school students still print instead of using cursive writing. So why is it important to learn to cursive write?
Because you have to legally sign papers all your life with a SIGNATURE! That means you have to write your name in cursive or joined-up handwriting, not manuscript writing, because signatures in cursive are unique.
Cursive writing is faster because the letters are joined. The writer does not have to lift the pen as much as when forming block letters. Very few students can print as fast as someone can write in cursive. There are some exceptions but most students who still print in upper grades require more time to write down what they want to say. By then it’s hard to correct bad writing habits or teach them to write in cursive.
Many students were not encouraged to practice cursive writing when it was taught (or wasn’t taught), so they just keep printing and printing and printing. And taking tests and more tests and more tests.