Cursive: Obsolete or Essential?

You may have seen this post featured on WordPress recently — Is Cursive Obsolete?

What a fascinating discussion!

As a homeschool mom, I had this same debate a few years ago, mostly because I was trying to decide whether to teach cursive to my oldest daughter.

Linnea is very artsy, and at the end of 1st grade she had mastered print and began putting extra curls and swirls all over her printed letters, pretending to write in cursive because she liked that it was fancier. That — plus the fact that she had trouble reading the handwritten cursive notes from her grandparents — was enough for me to decide cursive is still very relevant and very much worth the effort.

In our homeschool we used A Reason for Handwriting’s Cursive Transition book for 2nd grade, and now Linnea writes cursive beautifully.

I am delighted and surprised by what a blessing the outcome of her hard work is. Cursive is a lovely form of writing.

That said, should every student work extra, extra hard to write perfectly in cursive? No. My own handwriting is usually in print or a hybrid of print and cursive. I am left-handed, and my cursive tends to smear ink on the side of my hand.

Should every student at least know how to read cursive? Absolutely! Handwritten letters from grandparents and far-away relatives are a joy to receive in the mail, and what fun is it if you can’t read them? Writing on the backs of old photographs is often cursive, plus many graphic designers use cursive fonts in brochures, magazines and other creations. Inability to read cursive is a form of illiteracy.

As a side note, Linnea just finished reading the book Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary. Maggie defiantly refuses to learn cursive. Here’s Linnea’s brief report, which she wrote in cursive, by the way.

“I think you will like this book. It is about a girl named Maggie, but the first time she writes her name in cursive it looks like this: Muggie. Soon people are calling her Muggie Maggie!”

What do you think about learning cursive?

One thought on “Cursive: Obsolete or Essential?

  1. I’ve made my kids learn it, but really, it is nearly obsolete. At least that’s the way it seems around here. I figured it can never, ever hurt to have nice handwriting. My daughter actually asked to learn it, so she enjoys practicing.

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