My Cursive

We help teachers teach cursive writing. Here’s why it shouldn’t be required in schools.

little girl upset, sitting at a desk having to learn cursive writing.

Cursive writing is beautiful. Handwriting is beneficial. Reading is vital.

MyCursive is devoted to spreading the art of cursive handwriting. A great deal of our readers are people who’ve never learned how to write in cursive (because a lot of schools stopped teaching it).

The other large chunk of our audience? Teachers who want (or are required) to teach it to their students.

We want people to write in cursive, but not at all costs.

Needless to say, we love cursive and want the world to learn how to do it. Now comes the “but” in the post.

In a recent article, Axios shows that states are trying to improve reading rates. According to their report, 40% of fourth graders can’t read at a 4th grade reading level.

Staggering.

And that’s just reading. According to another site, specializing in international education data, “Ironically, despite the United States having the best-surveyed education system on the globe, U.S students consistently score lower in math and science than students from many other countries.”

Reading, writing, and arithmetic. These three subjects are the building blocks of good education. The ability to read, communicate, and do basic math is vital.

Cursive is not.

There, we said it.

But still, more states are requiring cursive…by law.

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

Recently, California signed a bill into law that requires cursive writing be taught in public elementary schools.

There are several states considering, even voting on, similar legislation (like Pennsylvania and others). Honestly, by 2025, more than half of states in the U.S. could require public schools to instruct students to write in cursive.

Is it best? Let’s consider.

Data behind our opinion.

California ranks about 38th, in Pre-K to 12th grade education. With literacy rates being what they are, and many states attempting a move back to phonics, it’s more important to focus on the most critical things. At least in our opinion, as a resource for people who want to learn or teach cursive.

Namely, what good is it if a student writes in the finest script, yet struggles to read at all?!

Silver lining in all of this.

It’s good and right that legislators consider specific curriculum and educational standards. Certain states improving how they teach reading is making a big difference (Mississippi went from 49th to 21st in less than 10 years).

Is it going to take time? Yes. Should we do it in the best order for impact and learning? Yes.

But that’s just our opinion. We’ll keep spreading the word about cursive and helping the next generation.

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2 Responses

  1. Handwriting matters: does cursive?
    Research shows: legible cursive averages no faster than printIng of equal/greater legibility. Highest speed and legibility in handwriting come with joining the most easily joined letter-groups, leaving others unjoined, with print-like shapes for letters whose printed & cursive shapes disagree. Further: handwriting of this type appears to be more accurately and consistently retained and applied (by learners) than the conventional print and/or cursive forms of our handwriting. (Research sources are available on request.

    Simply reading cursive can be quickly taught to anyone who reads print. (One resource that brings cursive reading skill even to complete non-writers, a slim book titled READ CURSIVE FAST, quickly sold out its first printing and is headed for its second printing).

    Educated adults quit cursive. In 2012, handwriting teachers were surveyed at a conference run by cursive publisher Zaner-Bloser. 37% wrote cursive; 8% printed. Most (55%) wrote with some elements resembling print-writing, others resembling cursive.
    
    When even most handwriting teachers don’t use cursive, why mandate it?

    Cursive’s cheerleaders often testify to legislatures that cursive cures dyslexia, makes you smarter, teaches etiquette and patriotism, or confers other blessings which are no more common among cursive users than among the rest of us. Claiming research, they cite studies that invariably prove to be misquoted/otherwise misrepresented by the claimant.

    How about signatures? Brace yourself: cursive signatures have no special legal validity over other kinds. (Ask any attorney!)
     Questioned document examiners say the least forgeable signatures are the plainest. Most cursive signatures are loose scrawls: the rest are complex enough to make forgers’ lives easy.
    All handwriting, not just cursive, is individual: just as all handwriting involves fine motor skills. That’s how teachers identify (from print-writing on unsigned work) which first-grader was responsible.

    Mandating cursive to save handwriting is like mandating stovepipe hats and crinolines to save clothes.

    Kate Gladstone
    DIRECTOR, World Handwriting Contest
    CEO, HandwritingThatWorks.com
    AUTHOR, Read Cursive Fast

    1. Great take, Kate! While we agree reading cursive should take priority in all schools, we also feel cursive writing should be part of the curriculum (so long as basic learning standards are being met). Thanks for commenting!

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