Why Is Everyone Upset About Kids Not Learning Cursive?

Roxy and Bug cuddling

With social media, we get to be mad about a lot of stuff and do it in a place where everyone sees it. One thing I’ve seen a ton of lately is adults getting pissed that kids no longer learn cursive in school, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why. Yes, cursive was a big part of our childhoods, but that doesn’t mean it has any place in the childhoods of our offspring.

Probably my favorite argument in favor of teaching our kids cursive is that without it, they won’t be able to read historical documents. Let me ask you this, when have you EVER had to read a historical document? I have a degree in history, and I’ve never actually had to read an original copy of any historical document. What on earth makes you think your kids will need to? Sure, your little nuggets should be able to educate themselves with important historical documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but guess what? There’s an app for that.

The truth is that our obsession with cursive is purely nostalgic; it has no place in modern education. Instead of taking the time teach our kids cursive, schools should be concentrating on technology, because that is really what will affect the success of our kids in the future.

Doing clean, readable cursive when you’re in the third grade is a royal pain in the ass. However, there are a myriad of games out there that help kids learn computer language and how to code in a way that is actually enjoyable. It makes much more sense to encourage our educators to keep our children up to date on where the world of technology is headed early in their education than it does for them to focus on elegant handwriting.

Another fabulous argument is that kids will never be able to sign their own signatures. Again, who really gives a shit? Think for a second how many times a day you are required to sign your name on things. Think about how many times you’ve digitally signed documents because it is easier to do. Think now about how legible people’s signatures usually are. Most people scribble or do something similar, so I think our kids will be able to replicate that well enough without handwriting lessons.

The best part about cursive is that everyone has their own version of it when they become adults. Some cursive is big and bubbly while some is incredibly slanted and almost impossible to read. There’s really no logical reason that the kids of today need it. I don’t blame anyone for feeling nostalgic about it, but cursive is a thing of the past. Our kids would be better served with typing lessons, with coding lessons, with lessons specifically aimed at learning about technology and the language and techniques that go along with it, because that’s what will serve them in the future.

Tell me again why kids need to learn cursive?

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7 Comments

    1. Shauna Armitage says:

      I’m still not convinced. There are plenty of other activities that promote cognitive development, creativity, and fine motor skills. At the end of the day, parents can teach their kids cursive at home if they feel it’s an important skill, no?

  1. Adriann Giovanni says:

    I believe that Children , not “kids” , should learn Cursive along with Printing as a way to learn Creativity for young minds to develop the skills of handwriting .

    We are trying too hard to destroy the Children’s Imagination , using the part of their brain that requires them to literally THINK .. No computer can do this .. A Child’s Imagination should not be reduced to One Standardized Computerized Format ..

    This prohibits Creativity and creates a “One Minded” Society of Drones .. Then these Children must Learn to be Creative ?? Learn to have an Imagination ??

    Why reduce the them to at such a young age to being drones when Cursive is a form of Expression .. As I recall it leads to Doodling , we create more when we use Cursive .. Flowers and Swirls that do not happen when we cut Children off from being Creative by learning ALL forms of Creative Writing ..

    1. Shauna Armitage says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Personally, I don’t see the correlation. Are there studies on this? I don’t feel like my creativity sprung from cursive in any way. I loved to doodle and I loved to write at a young age, before cursive was even introduced in the curriculum. Some of the most famous creatives in history didn’t even have cursive. I’m also not sure that it’s fair to say that being around technology prevents children from being creative. If kids don’t learn about technology, they probably won’t be able to dream up the next innovation. There certainly has to be a balance between tech and creative play, but that’s a whole other issue.

  2. Stacey says:

    Children today are growing up in an interesting time, in regards to cursive. With some schools teaching cursive and some schools not teaching cursive and even some schools taking it out of their program and then adding it back into their program just a few years later it will be interesting to see how this affects handwriting in the future. I do believe that all children will eventually learn to at least read cursive writing eventually. It is everywhere. While you use the argument of a historical document, I want to point out that script fonts are a favorite of designers and of course, calligraphers. You see cursive writing everyday.

    Does it have any benefit – yes. It has been linked to creativity and art centers in our brain. It’s good for hand-eye coordination. Really, there are lots of benefits. All things that CAN come from other areas, sure, but it’s like that with many other elective classes in school.

    Yes, cursive is hard for students to learn. However, we don’t make the argument that it’s hard and thus we should eliminate the wasted time from school because some students struggle with it for reading, math, science, etc.

    1. Shauna Armitage says:

      Thanks for your comment! You’re the second person to say that it is hard to learn, but I don’t think I included that in my argument anywhere. (Difficult to learn is certainly NOT a reason I’d be against my kiddo learning anything!) I just think that times are changing and it’s not a necessary skill for kids to be learning in school anymore, so I’m not sure why so many parents are angry about it. If a parent deems it necessary for their kid, than they can certainly make sure their child learns it! I like your comment about how fonts and design are in scripts lots these days. (My hubby pointed that out too!)

  3. Kendra says:

    I am 50/50 on the issue. It is out of practice for this era of students, but at the same time it does help some children. My son has horrible hand writing! He has been struggling with it all through school, but this year (4th grade) they started learning cursive in school and his writing is actually becoming legible.

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