Do Kids Still Need to Learn Handwriting?

Is it obsolete, or still an essential part of the 3 Rs? Join the debate.

By The Editors

Indiana education officials recently decided that the state's schools will no longer be required to teach penmanship to students. Instead of mastering the intricacies of cursive handwriting, children will focus their energies on learning to type.

Many other districts nationwide have already dropped handwriting instruction, sparking complaints from parents and grandparents that kids are losing an essential skill as schools rush into the digital future. Is learning cursive writing still an important skill? We recently asked visitors to the Facebook page, and received some surprising answers:

Cursive writing is not a necessity. Students need to know how to read cursive, but the only time they must write it is to make a signature. Why stress them more than they need to be stressed? We already put so much pressure on them to perform on state tests. – Reta

Cursive certainly isn't necessary. Most people abuse it terribly and, as a result, their handwriting is not legible. As long as the kids are taught to print, that is all that is really necessary. – Kay

What a shame. I guess it will be a lost art one day, but handwriting is so personal and beautiful. It has personality. – Ana

Everyone needs to be able to write, cursive or otherwise. Because we have CDs and tapes, do we need to quit teaching people to read?Sunny

What is wrong with the way we all learned, as they used to say, the 3 Rs? I just don't understand schools today. – Karen

Kids should learn everything they can in school. I learned how to handwrite in the third grade. It seems like grade-school teachers do not want to really work with kids like they used to in the 50s and 60s. They just want to push them through these days. – Eileen

They need to learn it more than sports.Sandy

They need to learn it for the simple reason that they need to be able to read cursive.Karen

How are they supposed to read the documents that made this country great? This sounds to me like another way to dumb down America.George

The school that I worked in dropped cursive a few years ago. Unless the students have computers in class, they will not be able to take notes with any speed. I had to speak very slowly and stop after a sentence or two because of slow printers. – Helen

The same thing happened here in Tennessee this past year. I think it's a shame. I just received a handwritten letter from my stepmother and it means the world to me that she took the time to sit and write. – Kathy

If that were the case here in Virginia when my children were coming up, I would have taught them cursive myself!Karen

Children should still learn cursive, for the sake of having a skill that all people can communicate with. I certainly appreciate a handwritten note of thanks or news from my children and grandchild. – Ruth

I think we are all going to miss the personal touch of handwritten words. – Rene

There is nothing like re-reading old letters from the past. My mom's been gone for over 30 years now, but every now and then I will pull out one of her precious handwritten letters and read yet again what was on her mind and touch where the pen she held in her hand wrote those words. It's like having her just a little closer to me. – Joy

Nothing on the computer can compare to a handwritten note from a loved one, or a thank you card, or a young person's diary! – Janet

When did handwritten notes and letters become obsolete? It is a form of communication that will work if we don't have electricity and people can't keyboard… oh, my gosh, I think I just turned into my own grandmother!Linda



I just read an article on how children are being "short-changed" in school by not learning how to write cursive and how the art program has been taking away..All creative aspects of our lives. It was called the case for Cursive ..the source: Occupational therapist Baruch Asherson was about how cursive writing is important to brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory. How it stimulates the brain between the left and right hemispheres which is absent in printing and typing. Also how scores on the SAT scored higher when cursive was used in place of printing because it allowed the student to focus on content. It also helps in understanding the concept of what we are reading when hi-lighted in Italics...It also stated that it should be a part of the communication skills arsenal.We are short-changing our children in giving them the tools that they need to survive in todays world..some can't even tell time unless it's common sense today in the basics..

jonibee on 2013-08-15 08:28:51

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