Curses. I mean, cursive.

Never, if you saw my writing, would you believe that I would write an article in defense of cursive.  I’ve never pushed it very much, I don’t spend much time teaching it.   Cursive is not in the Common Core standards.  So why do it?

My reasoning is that it is indeed a meditation of the formation of words.  It can help with the breakdown of word parts like getting use to forming the “ing” and other prefixes and suffixes.  Flowing from one letter to the next in a contemplative, slowed down manner, calls for some attention to a task.  It is not instantaneously gratifying.  Our students need more of that kind of work, there is less time and less practice of art.  DaVinci would draw things to understand them.  Cursive is the drawing of words.

For some students, the very act of writing is difficult, and I believe in difficult things, especially when they come with some benefit, like fine motor control and muscle building.   Cursive can also help with sequencing of letters and reversals.  Cursive writing may provide a person with a more legible self expression than their print.

Studying writing cursive translates into reading of cursive.  People still write in cursive.  People sign their names in cursive.  People still use checkbooks ,- for how long, who knows?  But they are still in common use.

And, there are many historic documents that are not (at least originally) in Times New Roman.  Going back to original documents is important.  Especially in our country,  to know how to read more decorative script, such as The Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, and many other documents our country was founded upon, – that has intrinsic value.

Another thing that impresses me is what Steve Jobs said about learning Calligraphy.  You can read/watch it from here.  It is very good food for thought, through and through.

Cursive is a different way of writing, and that provides options for people.  Technology should not block us from the ability to use our own hand(s).

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