Recently, during one of our many random conversations, I mentioned to hubby how disappointed I was that cursive is no longer being taught in schools. He expressed disbelief, but I could recall a controversy about the cursive thing (or lack thereof) a couple years ago. I did a little internet search today and voila– plenty of articles popped up from 2013-14 when the news broke that the Common Core would no longer mandate teaching penmanship in elementary school.
I’m no expert on the Common Core, but I see parents complain about it all the time. If my daughter’s homework assignments are a reflection of the requirements, I can’t say that I’m impressed. I mean, is it really necessary to draw a picture, equation, AND number line to solve 4 + 5?? It seems like students are being taught to rely on all of these crutches that basically equate to counting on your fingers instead of just memorizing simple math facts like we did in generations prior. Are we dumbing down our children?
I remember being so excited for third grade when I would FINALLY be able to learn fancy handwriting like all the “big kids.” Cursive was presented as something special and advanced and we all wanted to know how to do it.
Cursive IS special– it’s how the founding fathers wrote our Declaration of Independence. It’s how my Granny and Grandma write all of their letters and birthday cards to me. At my baby shower last year, my oldest daughter read every personal message out loud to the guests, except for one card that was written in cursive. “I can’t read this one!” she said, handing it over to me. Understandable for a kindergardener, but what if she was twenty years old and said the same thing?
Computers, phones, and tablets have become an integral part of our culture, so many would argue that learning cursive is a waste of time. However, cursive writing is almost like another language, and is a skill that can help in critical brain development. Maybe it’s not the MOST important thing they need to know, but it just seems like one example of how we are lowering standards for our children. Shouldn’t we strive to teach them more instead of less?