According to a report on The Today Show by Jenna Wolfe, 44 states no longer demand that cursive writing be taught in elementary schools. In Indiana and Hawaii, it isn’t even part of the curriculum.
Why should we care? Even in the 21st Century, writing is an art form. I am not talking about by husband’s signature which is more difficult to decipher than a Jackson Pollock painting, nor the graffiti painted on city walls and the curses and love notes written in bathroom stalls.
Okay , maybe I support script because I write much faster than I can type. I don’t like typing. For much of my generation of women, it holds the emotions of being told you could be a teacher, nurse or a secretary when you grew up.
Maybe it’s because I skipped 2nd grade, and my grade 4th grade teacher, Mr. Mc Cory, told my mother that I was doing very well in school, except for my handwriting, I took it upon myself to recopy all of my notes and practice my l’s, r’s and t’s until I had developed a very nice handwriting. What? All this for naught. Just to be told cursive writing doesn’t matter anymore.
So, when my daughter and son-in-law wrote thank you notes to their friends and mine and to their relatives for their wedding gifts, they could have printed them or downloaded the card and typed on that. Emily Post is shuddering so hard, her bones are clanking.
As an educator who has taught cursive writing to children, I think it is an important skill to learn. First, it is developing fine motor control which is important in many areas of life. It is not the repetitive rapid motion developed by playing video games or searching on the internet. It teaches visual discrimination which sharpens our eyes and increases our appreciation of the beauty of a flower or the design of a fabric.
It teaches focus and concentration, so important in this world of rapidly moving images and “sound byte” political statements.
If we write by hand, we need pencils and pens, and people will design beautiful journals, papers, stationery and cards.
Not everyone will have an I-Phone in their pocket to read their grocery list. Maybe, I’m old fashioned, but a tweet or a text doesn’t have the same thrill as passing a note to a friend sitting in the next row.
Like my fingerprints, my hand writing is mine, mine alone.