The other night my girls were getting ready for bed when my 7-year-old daughter was looking at a book and said something that blew me away.
As she pointed to a page where someone had signed their name, she said, “Look, she wrote her name in cursive.”
Right away I asked her how she even knew what that was because I know she hasn’t learned it in school. She went on to tell me that one of her classmates writes her name in cursive.
Wait, it gets better.
“Mom, I want to learn how to write my name in cursive.”
So, I said what any penmanship award winning mom who grew up in the 80s and 90s would say, “I’ll teach you.”
After I put my kids to bed I began to think about how cursive has become the black sheep of the writing world. It was something I thought about before, but never really zeroed in on to be honest with you. Since Common Core standards don’t require teachers to teach cursive writing in schools anymore, many kids don’t even know what it is. When they hear the word cursive, they probably think it’s some kind of disease.
I know I sound like my mother, but “when I was growing up” there was a big emphasis on cursive writing. I remember the upper and lower case cursive letters hung around the top of the chalkboard all around the classroom so that we could always be reminded of what the letters looked like. We also had those papers with the dotted lines so that we could practice our penmanship. Cursive was where it was at.
Fast forward 30 years and we are raising a generation of cursive-illiterate printers.
Here are some questions to all of those who have written off cursive. How are our kids going to sign documents when they grow up if they don’t know cursive? How are they going to sign checks? Will they even know what a “signature” is? Are they just going to print for the rest of their lives?
I know there are a lot of people who could care less about cursive writing, that’s probably why it’s no longer mandatory in schools. But, I care and I find it a sad commentary on our little society.
As a society we’ve thrown out so many of the “old school” things that used to be important and have value. Things like cursive writing for one. What have we gotten in return? Technology? Tablets and phones? Sure. While technology has helped in many ways, it’s also created a generation of kids who don’t have the social skills to have a conversation that doesn’t involve a text message. Many kids would be outraged if they could no longer text. But, not learning how to write in cursive doesn’t faze them in the least. OMG! BTW we need to bring back cursive kids!
I’m excited that my 7-year-old daughter wants to learn cursive. Although I wish it was still mandatory in school, I’m ready to take on the challenge of teaching her. Maybe I’ll even break out my old penmanship award for inspiration. Perhaps cursive will make a comeback like the boy bands of the 90s. Until then I’ll be leading the cursive crusade in my house so my daughter will always have the “write stuff”.