Last night I was looking over some news stories online when I came across this article called, Cursive writing may be a fading skill, but so what? If you have school-aged children, you might want to read the article. It begins when a mother asks her eighth grade daughter to sign her name, only to realize she didn't know how. I can only imagine how shocked the mother was, not to mention how belittled it might have made the girl feel. With technology as advanced as it is, and everything being done on electronic devices, it's not surprising kids don't know how to sign their name. I'm not saying kids don't know how to write with a pen or pencil -- I'm talking about penmanship -- cursive handwriting, in particular.
The article goes on to say that the girl was only taught cursive writing in the 3rd grade. I'm in my 40s and I remember being taught handwriting in grade school. I switched from public school to a Catholic school for a year and a half and cursive writing was even more of a big deal there. I remember getting scolded by a nun because I didn't make my Rs right. By 5th grade, I was establishing my own handwriting, but that didn't cut it with Sister Whateverhernamewas. Looking back, I'm glad she did that. Eventually, I came up with my own style of handwriting, but the basics were instilled in me. Knowing what I know now, I needed those basics to teach my kids.
We're in our 12th year homeschooling and I've always taught penmanship. It's one of our daily assignments. By no means, do my kids have perfect handwriting, but they know how to do it. I could have them sign a form or a birthday card and they'd know what to do. Neil is just starting to learn cursive this year. He's in 2nd grade and last year he just wasn't ready. Nathan has beautiful handwriting, when he takes the time to do his best. Nicole has developed a cute signature. That's because she's always dreamed of being a famous writer and she used to practice signing her name over and over. Honestly, I don't know where she gets that from. ;)
I understand this could be a big debate since people just don't write by pen as much as they used to. Even signing your name on a check has almost become a thing of the past with credit and debit cards. However, I still think it's important. Can you imagine the embarrassment of having to sign loan documents and come to the part where it says to sign AND print your name? What if you never learned at all? How important do you think it is for people to know how to write by hand? Is cursive a big deal, or is it okay just to know how to print? What are your thoughts? If you believe this is important, find out what your child's school is doing. Is it being taught? If not, teach it yourself. You can find cursive workbooks anywhere -- from book stores to drug stores and there's tons online as well. It only takes a few minutes of practice each day.