Say “Yes” to Cursive

“Pretty home school mama say what?”

Remember.  At one time, we did not have a ball-point ink pen.  We used quills and bottles of ink.  Imagine how this would have looked with printed block, or ball and stick, lettering.  There would have been a considerable number of ink drops, smudges, and smears.

Before the printing press, joined writing was a much quicker way to copy documents and texts, as well as much neater.  These copies are what I consider original sources.  The Declaration of Independence was written in cursive.

Are you going to teach your child to read this historical document or show them a digital cipher?

Perhaps you think that cursive script is old-fashioned and out-dated writing. 

Block letters are the result of printing.  The various joined writing styles were not able to be printed.  This same type of lettering was adapted for electronic displays for appearance reasons too.

The argument against learning cursive is that we type and perform our day-to-day and business communications using the computer.  With the surge in palm and hand devices, like the tablets and netbooks, it would seem that writing as a whole is not needed.  I beg to differ.  Read Script and Scribble.

I would begin to argue that, at the very least, the child will need to learn to read cursive, to process the symbols that are interpreted as block letters.

Cursive is part of our traditional communication.  Socially, cursive is the correct way to communicate as well.  We have, as a society, always written in cursive or some facsimile.

An aside, I think denying our traditions and social etiquettes is what will – and has – disconnected us from each other.  I do not try to stand apart or do the go-with-the-flow for the new trend.  Too much has been tossed aside, such as saying “yes sir” and “no sir” in favor of “yeah” and “uh-huh”.  Our total disregard for anything that our parents did or do has made most of the latter generations vulgar, rude, and socially inept.  I do diverge from the topic at hand, but only slightly.  The evolution or disregard even for the things of the past because they are of the past is not reason or justification.

Cursive has always been the proper and respectful way to communicate with legibility, and speed being a profit.

Beyond these arguments, there are developmental reasons for teaching writing, including cursive, beyond the actual skill.  Visual, perceptual, and motor skill are developed through writing.  The “translation of the sequences of symbols(letters) into lines on paper affects the cognitive ability of the brain …”  Read more at the Reading Horizons, The Foundation for Reading English.  I heartedly agree with their statement that “we may have overlooked in the race to technology in the classroom” an important component, writing cursive.  The foundation is very explicative concerning the cognitive development and improvements as a result of learning cursive.  Again, there is much more learned than just the skill itself.

If you are looking for the value of learning to write cursive, I do believe that you have found it now.  Sometimes we need someone to prove something is worthy of our time.  For more than the actual skill and communicative properties, cursive has value.

2 Comments

Filed under Handwriting, Language Arts

2 responses to “Say “Yes” to Cursive

  1. I will teach my children cursive and hope that mine improves in the process! Mine is not pretty cursive! Isn’t it wonderful to be able to learn alongside them!

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