Monday, June 22, 2015

Cursive Takes a Hit

There is nothing like learning your handwriting is going the way of the dinosaurs. From what I’ve been reading, school systems across the nation are dropping cursive handwriting from their curriculums in favor of keyboarding. It seems the powers to be have decided cursive is an antiquated way of communicating. They feel today’s students need to learn keyboarding, which by the way, is not related to snowboarding. 

Anyway, these folks say learning cursive takes away valuable time from all the other stuff kids need to learn. I say, give me a break, just how much stuff is the average third grader learning these days that the school can’t cram in lessons on how to write in cursive? What, are they too busy learning how to tweet?

Cursive is not without its supporters, mostly people who sell pens, ink, and paper. All right, there are other folks who think taking cursive out of the educational process is not a good idea. They say learning to write cursive helps with things like mind and hand coordination. And if you’ve ever seen a field full of 8 year olds playing soccer, then you’d realize the value of mind and hand coordination.

They also say there is a connection between writing and thinking that helps promote overall literacy. I’m sure this stems from the fact that cursive doesn’t come with spelling auto-correct. See, you’re actually thinking about what you’re writing, not battling with a device that thinks it’s smarter than you and keeps trying to put in the word it thinks you want, rather than the one you’re trying to write. 

Cursive also gives your brain time for reflection, which prevents spewing forth nonsense. Here you are, writing in loops, connecting letters, going much slower than you can on a keyboard. (Unless you’re a doctor.) No auto-correct to interrupt your thought processes which cuts down on saying stuff you don’t want to say. 

Who has time to reflect when they’re battling with auto-correct? You’re just happy you got something into the little message box. Hit send and whatever you wrote goes off willy-nilly into cyberspace.

Imagine, years from now you’re recovering from surgery and your grandson offers to go buy your groceries since you can’t get out. You make a list, forgetting he never learned cursive and he returns home with weird foods because he can’t read your list.

I can also see a future were some bright light realizes how much easier it is to connect printed letters and voila, cursive returns! Naturally, as all generations do, those kids will think they’d invented something new.