One by one states are adopting the Common Core State Standards for education in an effort to standardize curriculum across the country. It is a way to make sure that K-12 students reach pivotal benchmarks in their education to ensure that they are well prepared to compete in the college and workforce arenas.
But, are you aware that the teaching of cursive handwriting has been eliminated from the Common Core? The reasoning is that cursive is rarely used these days because of how digital our society has become. Most communication is done over voice, text, or email. Being that most people do not continue to use cursive writing after they learn it many teachers choose to not teach it or drastically reduce the amount of time spend on it each day. Standards are becoming more and more demanding and time for little used skills is being squeezed out by higher priorities.
The reasons for eliminating cursive handwriting from the curriculum are clear. But, is it still a good idea? Here are some Pros and Cons of continuing to teach cursive in schools. You decide.
*Cursive Handwriting helps develop fine motor skills. Learning to create the necessary swirls and to then connecting those swirls to make words requires the child to work hard on those fine motor skills. There isn’t much out there anymore that helps in this area quite like cursive handwriting.
* Cursive handwriting helps teach perseverance. Cursive is not easy to learn and it requires a good bit of focus and determination. The child not only learns a new skill but also learns the value of persevering to the end.
* There has been a drastic decline in the handwritten notes as the computer and cell phone has taken over. Everyone wants to communicate quickly. Not many people take the time to pick out a card or stationary and actually write a note by hand with a pen. Have you ever received a letter written in an eloquent cursive? It was probably very special because you knew how much time was spent on that special note written especially for you. Learning cursive helps you to keep that tradition alive.
* Learning cursive helps secure your own personal signature. It is true that most people these days only use cursive when signing their name on a check or some legal document. The truth is that it is much harder to forge a signature written in cursive. So, learning cursive helps you stay authentic and secure in your legal and financial dealings.
* Most people in the modern world are using electronic communication. No one uses handwriting very often anymore in day to day communication let alone cursive. Why spend the precious classroom time on something that no one uses anyway?
* Teachers are strapped for time as it is. Relieve them of the stress and eliminate cursive.
* Most everything we need to read is now available on line. It is true that a reason to learn cursive is to be able to read cursive. Most our country’s founding documents were written in cursive and one should be able to read those papers. But, they are all available on line in print format.
What do you think? Should we continue to teach cursive in our classrooms or is cursive obsolete now?
Common Core State Standards
Cursive Disappearing from Student’s Writing Skills, Education Week
Cursive Handwriting Getting Erased as Schools Teach Typing Over Script, ParentDish
Cursive Handwriting Begone, The Pioneer Woman