Cursive or keyboarding

handwriting1I have triplet nieces and nephew. They turned 14 in March. They have a pool party each year in the summer in lieu of a winter party. We were sitting around and they were all opening their cards and they came to ours and one of them said to the other, “can you read that?” To which the answer was “I can make it out.” Alrightythen. I wrote in cursive. I mean really, they are 14 and NOWHERE near “not smart.”

The discussion then went to the other teens there telling us that they never read cursive writing and while they are taught it in elementary school, nobody can really read it that well. Books and worksheets and such are all in print and then there’s the computer.

Well I’ll be darned. I can’t believe this. I had no idea that kids couldn’t read and weren’t encouraged to learn this. I then came upon this article quite by accident and now it’s really proof that these guys weren’t just trying to pull my leg. This article basically states that it’s not cutting cursive all together and that they will still teach it and make sure each child can read and write their own names. I guess that could come in mighty handy if they got a note from someone and could at least read “Dear So and So” but nothing else?? You’ve got to be kidding me.

I think this is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. How can not being able to read a handwritten note or old letters maybe from a family member who’s no longer with us, not be important? It’s so easy for children to retain things like this and it’s proven that young minds are like sponges so why not take the small effort it would take to make sure all children can read in both print and cursive?

I’m such and avid reader and note leaver so this almost makes me sick. I know it makes me sad. What about you? Do you think 3rd graders should be learning keyboarding at the cost of losing almost all cursive learning? Once it’s learned, it will never be forgotten but if it’s not taught, they will most likely never learn it on their own. Don’t they have room for both? If not, can’t the serious keyboarding skills wait another year or so? I’ve written things in my life for my grandchildren later in life as well as Family Tree’s that are in calligraphy and now it will all be for naught.

I know one thing is for sure, my grandchildren will be getting a LOT more handwritten notes from me because it’s very important to me that they learn to read everything.

Sad indeed.

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25 Responses to Cursive or keyboarding

  1. Sue says:

    This made me fall over in my chair! I can’t believe they can’t read cursive! I learned cursive starting in 3rd grade and keyboarding didn’t come until 7th grade. We had to write in cursive! My daughter is learning cursive and can read it. I think it goes hand in hand! They do have computer time, but I don’t know how much keyboarding they’re actually doing. It’s sad and ridiculous all at the same time. What will they throw out next? Math because we have computers to do that for us???

  2. Vicki says:

    I’m quite shocked in reading this.

    • Joy says:

      I was shocked too Vicki. The thing is other than the triplets, they have a brother going into 12th grade and then I have two nieces and another nephew, grades 10, 11 and 12th this coming school year in a completely different school district and they all were saying the same thing.

      I have so many things in cursive that if nobody can read them in the upcoming generations, it would make me so sad. I have letters from my grandma and things I’ve saved over the years. What good would they be for future generations as far learning about the ancestors of the family?

  3. pammy wammy says:

    I love writing.My kids and grandkids have gotten many hand written notes and will continue too.They love there notes from me 🙂
    Thats so wrong what you wrote.To me writing is like art.

  4. Gary says:

    OMG, I thought my son was pulling my leg but after reading this I suppose he was telling the truth. I was helping him with his homework the other night and asked him why he was printing in his notebook instead of writing. He told me that they don’t have to use cursive. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. When I was in the 8th grade, cursive was ALL we could write in. Printed material was not acceptable to turn in for credit.

    He was taught how to read and write in cursive but he hasn’t used it in so long that he can’t remember how to make most letters in cursive.

    Now that to me is a CRYIN SHAME! I always thought we sent our children to school to learn! Why would the schools not think that reading and writing cursive is not important? What are we doing to our children???

  5. mssc54 says:

    Maybe the reason they want to make sure each student can read and write their own names in cursive is so that they can endorse their checks poperly.

  6. SKL says:

    Well, I wish I could say I was surprised, but I’m not.

    I didn’t read the article, but let me guess – it’s all Bush’s fault because they have to spend 6 months a year teaching the kids how to fill in circles on standardized tests, so how can they teach cursive too?

    I had to master all my letters in cursive in grade 2. I remember my sister writing her name in cursive at age 4. Come on, it’s not that hard. Granted, it’s probably not a favorite subject for either kids or teachers, but that is no excuse. We don’t go to school to chill out.

    Joy, you are so right about losing culture. Isn’t the Declaration of Independence written in cursive? And every historical handwritten document / letter (using the Roman alphabet), such as those attached to important biographies? Even the Babar books are written in cursive.

    I think it’s important for kids to learn keyboarding, but how long does that take, seriously? My 2-year-olds can type their names. All you have to do is require typing to win a popular computer game and every kid will be keyboarding like a pro in no time. For that matter, look at what we’re all doing here – how many of us learned keyboarding in elementary school, and yet, surprise, we all figured out how to do it reasonably well.

    The “dumbing down” is scary not just because the kids won’t be able to read cursive, but because they are exercising their minds less and less. My cousin swears he was never required to read a single book (you know, those things you find in the library) throughout high school. What the hell? Like someone said above, I thought we sent kids to school to “learn.” We need people to have their wits about them, especially as we seem to be on our way to being a 3rd world country.

    Personally, I’m glad for the heads-up, because I’ll be teaching my kids cursive at home.

  7. trishatruly says:

    From now on I am sending my grandkids letters written in cursive directing them where to find their birthday presents ( aka : checks!)

    Maybe that will be some incentive to learn how to read and write it!!

    Holy Mother of Molasses! That’s just wrong!!!


  8. Laura says:

    To be just a little sarcastic, and scary at the same time…

    There’s a bill rumored to be floating around Capitol Hill right now that will give Obama the ability to shut down the Internet “in an emergency”. So what if that happens? Suddenly, all that keyboarding is for naught.

    On a more serious note: I’m happier every day that Josh is in a private school. In Kindergarten, they are learning to “print”, but it’s called D’Nealian (, and it’s said to help kids make the transition from print to cursive more smoothly.

    I have no argument with kids printing. I have no argument with kids keyboarding. I DO have a problem with kids not learning another fundamental, and not being encouraged to use it every day.

    • Sue says:

      Yup, I was sitting there as their parents laughed about it and thought it was no big deal.

      • Sue says:

        Oh shoot! This ended up in the wrong spot! This was meant for Joy’s comment under my comment!

        I was going to say though Laura, that my daughter learned how to print in kindergarten and 1st grade the way I was taught, and then all of a sudden in 2nd grade they did this transition and she basically had to learn how to rewrite her letters! I asked the teacher about it and she said it’s to make the transition to cursive easier. What a bunch of BS! It looks like they don’t know what they’re doing!

  9. Karen Joy says:

    Wow,this is shocking and very sad.I love hand written notes cards letters etc.I enjoy looking at others writting as it shows personality too.Like you said Joy,the old notes and letters,I have some of my Moms written stuff that I cherish..what the heck will these kids do ,they cant read it..crazy.They’ll be missing out!
    I wonder if its the same in the schools up here?I’ll have to check into that,Im sure it is.

  10. Just a Mom says:

    Both of my kids learned how to write and read cursive. My 10 year old who is in the 5th grade is required to use cursive on all papers and neatness counts! By the way she goes to a Catholic School. My 17 year old went to the same Catholic School and has been put into public school for high school. She now prints all of her papers that are to be handed in because they let her.
    I can’t stand it myself!

  11. nikki says:

    WOW! I’d ask if you’re kidding me but I know you’re not! Bailey can read and loves to write in cursive. I can’t imagine a teenager or anyone for that matter not knowing how. I know those kids are smart, that isn’t even a question. Schools should never stop having them write. I can see how typing interferes with writing. Computers have taken over most text books, and even those are in type. Students no longer have to WRITE out reports, but rather type them. That’s the problem. I now I will never let Bailey stop writing. He loves to write and I encourage that to the fullest. When he does his homework he asks if he can do it in cursive, some of it has to be print but when he’s writing stories you better believe it’s in cursive. He needs to know how to read it for all the reasons you listed!!!

  12. SKL says:

    I know this is off topic, but what were teachers teaching kids when I went to school? They had achievement tests then too! I dare say that despite my teachers forcing me to write in cursive for a significant part of every day, my class would do just fine on the NCLB tests. NCLB has been blamed for every ill in the schools in recent years. And given credit for none of the positives. I’m sorry, I’m not buying it.

    Every time I hear this kind of discussion, I chalk up another point for home schooling. I feel that when the teachers jump on this bandwagon, they are fighting to make themselves irrelevant.

  13. SKL says:

    I’m reminded of some scene in Animal Farm – it’s been over 20 years, so it is a very vague memory – but there was a gradual strategy by the communists to make the “masses” unable to understand what was written – meanwhile, “all [folks] are equal” sneakily became “some [folks] are more equal than others” – and they used this type of strategy to completely neutralize any potential resistance.

    I just can’t imagine living in a “free” country where the children are taught in such a way that they will not be able to read the founding documents for themselves. They will have a paragraph in their textbook (written by a liberal) summarizing what the libs want your kids to think the Constitution, etc., say. Already I would guess that less than 5% of adults have read those documents, but at least they could if they decided it might matter. What is really going on here?

    Is it any wonder that we have a president who is hell-bent on neutering our Constitution?

    • xpx says:

      Such a paranoid comment. This has nothing to do with liberal vs conservative.

      The documents have been printed, in block print, over and over again. When was the last time you read the original?

      You’re so brainwashed it’s sad.

  14. DM says:

    sometimes I swear the more educated people become the dumber they become. These type of educational decisions aren’t made in a vacuum..somebody, somewhere is intentionally redefining what education looks like (again) A series of classes on common sense should be mandatory for every adult in America, starting w/ our president, the congress and all decision makers in the field of education.

  15. Tosha says:

    My kids are required to write and read in cursive. My son is currently struggling to write in it. 3rd grade it becomes pretty much mandatory here that they start writing in it. And more than just their names. While Cole hates it with a passion his handwriting is MUCH MUCH neater in cursive than in print. Taylor on the other hand. eh not so much..LOL her print is neater..

  16. joz1234 says:

    kind of like doing math with calculator and not learning how by hand

  17. javajunkee says:

    haven’t read all of the comments so if I repeat somebody sorry…it has been said about the schools in this town they aren’t even teaching cursive anymore. Which to me is ok. I HATE teaching my kids to cursive write and finally gave up. I know I HATED how they taught us in school and I ended up writing my own way anyhow just like everybody does.
    I like printing myself. I have a bad habit of mixing printing and cursive when I write..that’s just me

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