Slow It Down, and Bring Back Cursive

Slow It Down, and Bring Back Cursive

Every once in a while I’ll hear a bit of news that just about blows me off my chair for its ridiculousness.

The latest?

Some schools aren’t teaching cursive anymore.watch full film The Handmaiden 2016 online

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Did you know this?!

I’m floored.

And I’m irked. Yes, irked.

It’s just another indication that the world is moving too fast, and becoming more and more impersonal.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

We’re constantly asking our children to speed up, process more, embrace technology, and there they go:

farther and farther away from simple pleasures,

and things that take time,

and the joy of a flourish.

I keep a letter from my mother in a small box of treasured keepsakes. It was posted a year before she died, and it simply and lovingly stated that I was so often in her thoughts it was like I was physically there. That card is dear to me, not just because of the sentiment, but because each word was in her own perfect cursive {a student of the Palmer Method, she used to love to tell me} hand.

Her penmanship was like art—truly beautiful, and it was very much a part of her. Like her voice, her laugh, or the scent of Chanel No. 5 in the air.

Some fonts are lovely, and I’m a fan of typography, but they’re not quite the same

as one’s signature.

I get that we’re in a computer age, but there should be a balance. 

And my boy will have that.

He will know how to click and reboot, but he will also know how to sign his name with a curve and a loop—if I have to sit him down at our dining room table with the workbooks myself.

Though I guess I’ll wait ’til he masters printing first.

 

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Comments

  1. no cursive?!?!?! unacceptable!
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  2. I agree, it was so frustrating to hear that they weren’t going to teach it anymore. I worked so hard to learn it, and though I have HORRID cursive, it’s still my own style.

    Besides, learning it took discipline, and in this world of instant gratification, discipline is something precious that we are losing.

    Peace and Love,
    Tara
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  3. TupperDiva says:

    No cursive writing instruction?! I hadn’t heard it until now, but I think that’s an outrage! A person’s handwriting is the most unique thing about themselves that they had to *learn*. Every other trait is either embedded in nature (DNA) or nurture (good manners). Handwriting is as unique as a fingerprint; samples of it left behind for others (in correspendence, on the back of photographs) tell us, even without that individual’s signature, who wrote it. Handwriting anaylsis is an important tool in crime investigations. (Imagine 30-40 years from now, two generations of adults not knowing how to decipher or identify differences in a handwritten clue left by an evildoer? They’d get away clean! Silly? Maybe; maybe not.) As a genealogist who has spent two decades reading handwriting from my grandparents’ era (1899-1930) to dating back as far as the 1840s (reading old census entries ), I can tell you that losing the art of handwriting would ultimately have a horrible impact on our culture. Doing something which comes so simple to me could become a specialized talent otherwise resulting in the loss of simple access to one’s family history.

    My 2nd grader has been asking me often of late, “Mom, did I write this in cursive?” as he ties his printed name together with simple connecting lines. In the eyes of a child (my child, at least), it would seem that learning cursive writing is the very first of many definitive passages into adulthood. After all, we can safely put a birthday shopping list written in cursive on the table and it’ll remain indecipherable to a child under the age of 8 or so. So the desire for a child to learn cursive symbolizes a desire to be more grown up, more mature. I remember first learning it in 3rd grade and how hard it was for the first two years or so, but I also remember the feeling of accomplishment when my parents praised my improved efforts.

    And what about reading cursive written by individuals in other countries? The whole Latin-alphabet-writing world isn’t giving up on it, right? Only our “advanced” society. Whether a foreigner writes in cursive in English or any other language, if our kids can’t read cursive, it might as well be written in Sanskrit.

    And let’s not forget WHY cursive writing was invented and used for so long in the first place: it’s faster! Not by a lot (most people can print ~22 wpm and write the same in cursive at about 26 wpm), but still. Writing in cursive also far less demanding on the hand, forearm, and shoulders–if you’ve been taught correctly, that is. In fact, the only thing quicker is to write in Gregg Shorthand (stenography). And as someone who can type at 80 wpm and take shorthand at 120 wpm, I speak with experience. 🙂

    So, all you Superintendents out there who think it’s a great idea to save a few bucks on the school budget by eliminating cursive writing instruction, think again, lest a mere decade or two from now, your successors will be unable to read the pithy parental notes proclaiming *your* era’s pitiful lack of prudence.

  4. Oh what A GREAT post!!! It’s maddening how this world is pushing our children out of all that is true and good and authentic. I absolutely agree with you! So far our schools still teach cursive, but kindergarten academic guidlines are now second grade guidlines and first grade curiculum is compared to third grade level now. There’s no turning back on this mad road with a fierce top speed race to the new and updated world we now live in. I can hardly recognize it anymore. Just wait til our kids are even older… what will it look like ten years from now??? I’m so scared.
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  5. Francesca @verriorganized.com says:

    M – I wish I could hand write this reply to your amazing post! Oh how I agree with you – especially about how technology – as wonderful as it is – contributes to us being just that more distant …and allows us to be, more easily, impersonal. I love the story about your moms note to you. Seeing a hand written note that I too have saved brings back memories of that person as if I am sitting and having coffee and a nice, long chat w them. It’s comforting. And it’s grounding.

    Another great post and even more a wonderful reminder that exercising some patience and paying attention to and enjoying simple pleasures that keep us connected – really connected – is what living this thing we call life is all about. xxxo
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  6. I’m so sad about Cursive disappearing, I know I hated it at the time but I’m SO thankful for the ability now a days. I just love the love of it.
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  7. My grandfather and mom have the most beautiful cursive handwriting… I just love it. Despite the fact that I think cursive is lovely, I’m not at all surprised they are cutting it out of the curriculum. That’s something we talked about in one of my college classes (how obsolete cursive is in present day). It’s considered more of an art form than a necessary skill. Hopefully some art classes will teach it somewhere. What’s sad is that not learning cursive means not being able to read cursive which means this next generation may not be able to read letters from grandparents or historical documents. Sad for sure.
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  8. i know!? right?! I make my kids hand write thank you notes. i might start making them write it in cursive.
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