The Cursive Crisis
National Handwriting Day
Ah! A subject and day so dear to the heart of a former English teacher has come. Where to begin? We are in a crisis my friends. Yes, I call it the “cursive crisis!” And it is born of the indifference to the teaching of what you may refer to as Palmer Method, longhand or cursive writing. Yes, we are raising a nation of PRINTERS that do not know how to form letters cursively.
The arguments against are many, and for me, meaningless.The same arguments have been put forward for the teaching of spelling. We have SpellCheck, right?
Children use computers today. Does Spell Check know the difference in context of “hair” and “hare” when your child is writing an essay? No, It will blithely allow your child to write the following, “ I brushed my hare before I came to school.” And no, this child does not own a rabbit! The computer will care not a wit, but the teacher will, and should!
Think about it. If our children can not write cursively, how do they READ cursive writing. Example: A treasure trove of great grandma’s, or even grandma’s letters to her children are discovered in the attic. How will the current crop of students be able to decipher these treasures? Might as well be written in hieroglyphics. In addition, how do they sign their names to official documents in the future? It might seem laughable, if it were not so serious a deficit in their learning process.
Cursive writing, I believe, may hard wire the brain in certain ways with its attention to detail in its concentration on the formation of letters. Did you know that there are now medical schools across this country that have commenced REQUIRING cursive writing classes as part of their curricula?
Perhaps the heads of these schools realize in the teaching of cursive, there is more being taught to future doctors than just the formation of letters. It has long been a private joke in our culture about doctor’s penmanship in general.
Whew! Feel a lot better now!
Seriously though, if you as a parent are concerned about your student having the sole ability to PRINT their letters, and hear that in the age of the computer, cursive should be a cast off, please show them this blog! You can make a difference in their learning or not learning cursive.
Future generations of readers and writers will thank you.