Your Opinion on Cursive (moms with kids 10 and up) - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-17-2007, 10:40 AM
 
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I think there are a lot of children out there who are forced to print too early or too fast, and end up with some really bad habits. Their printing is very inefficient and often illegible. For many of these kids starting over with cursive can be easier than unlearning the bad habits they developed with print, and can be an easy way to correct the problem.
This is why I prefer early cursive/D'nealian instruction as opposed to Zaner-Blosser.
When you learn cursive/D'nealian, the letters are made in one stroke, two if it's a 't' or 'i'. Zaner-Blosser depends on sticks and balls. Which is better for a child to help with any potential writing problems - a one stroke method or sticks and balls? The one stroke means the 'd' and the 'b' are formed very differently, but the sticks and balls mean that a child can form the letter any way they want - there's no individual pattern the fingers follow.
I honestly think it's more important to teach a one stroke pattern from the beginning instead of starting over again 3 years later to teach it.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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I was talking to a neighbor and she was horrified to look at my dd's homemade cookbook and discover that my 8 year old still printed all in capital letters: . Anyway, in an ironic twist she did mention that her public schooled child never learned to wright in script. But she can sign her name. And my dd is eagerly learning cursive from the poster we have hanging over the dining room table. I know plenty of well educated adults that print all in caps (big caps and little caps!) and others who only print but use upper and lower case, and plenty of others who can write in cursive but it is illegible. I imagine that there are also lots of smart folks who can't write at all. However, since signing mortgage papers, etc., with an X might cause a bit of judgmental attitude, I imagine it would be a good thing if children at least learned to sign their own names. It amazes me how with my dd, she is always "behind" her schooled peers in some areas but then she "catches up" with virtually no effort on her own time table and then had all that extra time to learn all the things that she really wanted to.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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Let me preface by saying I am neither a mom, nor do I have a 10 year old.

I never learned cursive. I tried, I failed classes, I cried, I hated it, finally I got far enough in school to where people didn't care. Seriously, I could not write all of the letters if you asked me to sit down and do it. If you asked me to write this post in cursive it would take me maybe 30-40 minutes and my hand/wrist would be SO sore by the end.

In the middle of one of those papers in junior high school where you would fail if it was not in cursive, I was dealing with the horrible hand cramping and soreness, and crying because I hated cursive so much and my grandma showed me an article she was reading about fine-motor muscle development differences between her generation and my generation. It turns out IT IS PHYSICALLY HARDER for someone who does modern day activities to hold a pencil/pen, especially during cursive. That's right, someone born in the 70s or earlier has an EASIER time with handwriting than someone born after the 1980s the article predicted that this definition would become more and more pronounced as computers and video games and other fine motor activities became less like holding a pencil. The reason is the kinds of games, work, play, and just day to day activities are different. For instance using a computer keyboard/mouse tones the muscles to be a different shape from holding a pen since they are a different shape it is more difficult to manipulate them the same way. We have actually played games to test this and I can push a button approximatly 20 times faster than my dad, yet he can use a pencil much better than I can. I can type at least 5-10 times faster than my mom or dad, and my mom can do flawless caligraphy.

I wish I could find that article or a similar one today, but I have tried for hours with no luck. I just wanted to impart this knowledge, because I find cursive to be a sore spot in my life, and something that has never ever ever mattered in "real life" since in the average year I hand write maybe MAYBE a cumulative total 1-2 pages of text. For the record I consider myself to be an amatuer author with at least 500 pages in novels and screenplays under my belt, so it is not like I just don't write at all.
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Old 07-17-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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In the middle of one of those papers in junior high school where you would fail if it was not in cursive, I was dealing with the horrible hand cramping and soreness, and crying because I hated cursive so much and my grandma showed me an article she was reading about fine-motor muscle development differences between her generation and my generation. It turns out IT IS PHYSICALLY HARDER for someone who does modern day activities to hold a pencil/pen, especially during cursive. That's right, someone born in the 70s or earlier has an EASIER time with handwriting than someone born after the 1980s the article predicted that this definition would become more and more pronounced as computers and video games and other fine motor activities became less like holding a pencil. The reason is the kinds of games, work, play, and just day to day activities are different. For instance using a computer keyboard/mouse tones the muscles to be a different shape from holding a pen since they are a different shape it is more difficult to manipulate them the same way. We have actually played games to test this and I can push a button approximatly 20 times faster than my dad, yet he can use a pencil much better than I can. I can type at least 5-10 times faster than my mom or dad, and my mom can do flawless caligraphy.
You just helped me feel better about my decision to keep video games out of my house Thank you. The children's computer time is limited to educationally necessary activities only as well. We play a lot of board games, do a lot of art work. Use manipulatives etc. The children will eventually get to play more games etc....but I think that the article you mentioned shows we need balance.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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Old 07-17-2007, 05:30 PM
 
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You just helped me feel better about my decision to keep video games out of my house Thank you. The children's computer time is limited to educationally necessary activities only as well. We play a lot of board games, do a lot of art work. Use manipulatives etc. The children will eventually get to play more games etc....but I think that the article you mentioned shows we need balance.
I dunno, cursive does not help me in my daily life, and having "cursive" muscles is not an advantage in most workplaces. Every job I have ever had has involved an extensive amount of keyboarding and Zero "handwriting" I have had some pretty "normal" jobs too. I feed my family with my video game and keyboard skills, as do most of my friends, so it is hard for me to see these things as harmful or even really optional.

I guess what I am saying is I feel like the change in muscle shape is an adaptation, rather than a handicap, as it provides a more capable means of meeting the average days challenges. Cursive would do nothing for me in my daily life, therefore I would consider it to be an obsolete skill for my lifestyle (and indeed for all of the people I know).
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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I dunno, cursive does not help me in my daily life, and having "cursive" muscles is not an advantage in most workplaces. Every job I have ever had has involved an extensive amount of keyboarding and Zero "handwriting" I have had some pretty "normal" jobs too. I feed my family with my video game and keyboard skills, as do most of my friends, so it is hard for me to see these things as harmful or even really optional.

I guess what I am saying is I feel like the change in muscle shape is an adaptation, rather than a handicap, as it provides a more capable means of meeting the average days challenges. Cursive would do nothing for me in my daily life, therefore I would consider it to be an obsolete skill for my lifestyle (and indeed for all of the people I know).
I think balance is necessary because that way your children can use both sets of skills. My dh writes by hand everyday at his job

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:30 AM
 
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ITA taht it's more important to be able to read cursive than to write it. However, people DO need to be able to sign their names on various documents- so children should at least learn how to sign their names in cursive, even if they never learn how to write anything else.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:44 AM
 
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meh.


When I was in school we were graded on our handwriting. I'm artistic and could pull straight As without studying, but no matter how much I practiced, my handwriting was always bad. Screwed up my GPA, grrrrrrrrr!

I think we need to learn it, but I don't see why in a computer age anyone really needs to be able to do much more than sign their name in cursive. I still write in kind of a cursive print combo, and mostly I type. I never could understand how I couldn't just draw perfect letters, but I can't. I'm kind of glad they don't seem to be grading my dcs on their handwriting at school.

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Old 07-18-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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I think balance is necessary because that way your children can use both sets of skills. My dh writes by hand everyday at his job
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You just helped me feel better about my decision to keep video games out of my house Thank you. The children's computer time is limited to educationally necessary activities only as well.
huh? I don't understand how the near total exclusion of something constitutes Balance?

limited/No video games were an extremly high priority to my mother, and cursive/handwriting was an extremly high priority. I still ended up with impressive computer and video game skills and no cursive skills.

I would not limit pens to only educational purposes because that would ruin pens. I want my DCs to use pens/pencils to draw, to color, to write dirty limericks, to draw technical scematics, and to play tic tac toe. I don't understand how computers are different... it is like a pen, a canvas, a toy, a movie theater, a store, a radio, a conversation and every book in the world all rolled into one; I just don't understand how to avoid the draw of so much empowering information. I don't use the computer solely for education, and if you are reading this then neither do you, and I would not be able to post a link, edit a picture, write software, debug a network, modify games etc etc if I had. A computer is the pen of this generation. There are about 500 employees out of approx 50,000 in my company who do not have a computer on their desk, I work in the financial industry. Tellers, grocery store clerks, salesmen, blue collar factory workers, teachers, students, and everyone in-between are more effective if they can use a computer for more than just the specific task at hand.

I never understand how I am not preaching to the choir when I am speaking to people on a social, educational, entertaining website about the importance of using the computer for social, educational, and entertaining things.
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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It's more because I believe in limiting any screen time until children are much older....it's the left over Waldorfian in me Screen time can have a very negative effect on a still developing brain.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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I never understand how I am not preaching to the choir when I am speaking to people on a social, educational, entertaining website about the importance of using the computer for social, educational, and entertaining things.
Well, I hear ya and agree. I'm very thankful for computers. Computers bring out the writer in me. I am capable of writing very well - but I have a bit of that Eddison trait - if I'm hand writing I get caught up in the mechanics and correcting - especially spelling which I'm horrible at. With a computer I'm able to let go of all that and focus on fluency. Mechanical errors and spelling can be corrected later, and the computer will even help! I really feel fluent writing in the skill to focus on from the start. As a college writing instructor, I was surprised at how poorly students coming into a Big 10 university could write and how difficult many students found writing. I really think it was due to miseducation in their younger years. It's really important to set up positive associations with writing.
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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It's more because I believe in limiting any screen time until children are much older....it's the left over Waldorfian in me Screen time can have a very negative effect on a still developing brain.
oh gothca. Sometimes I forget that people believe that.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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so children should at least learn how to sign their names in cursive, even if they never learn how to write anything else.
I do not sign my name in cursive. It's not really printing either. It's just my own unique way of forming the letters.

That said, my kids are unschooled...so if any of them choose to learn cursive, I will support it wholeheartedly. If not, then it isn't important.

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Old 07-18-2007, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cursive has come very easily to my boys. My oldest son has nearly illegible printing, but with cursive he is forced to slow down a little his cursive is much easier to read.
Are your boys artistic or like to line draw?

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Old 07-18-2007, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
You want to look into the Palmer method.
I was looking up the Palmer method (which is very nice - http://www.educationalfontware.com/VP_cursive.html ) and found this...

Students Shirk Cursive As Keyboard Rules in Third Grade

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Old 07-18-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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We really like this: http://www.cep.pdx.edu/titles/italic...s/author.shtml

Getty and Dubay are a great alternative to looped cursive. It even helped MY horrible handwriting!
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Promoting the Art of Ornamental Penmanship -
http://www.zanerian.com/

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