Your Opinion on Cursive (moms with kids 10 and up) - Mothering Forums
1 2 
Learning at Home and Beyond > Your Opinion on Cursive (moms with kids 10 and up)
kanpope's Avatar kanpope 02:29 PM 07-13-2007
Hi Ladies -
I have a question for y'all with older kids. In your opinion, how important is learning and mastering cursive writing at the 3rd/4th grade level? Dd is really struggling and it just seems like our time doing schoolwork can be so much better spent than fussing with her handwriting. I write in a cursive/print combo all the time, but dh is purely manuscript. Can cursive be taught later as an elective type thing when she feels a desire to learn it or do you think that it is important to build the foundation earlier? I would appreciate your thoughts...

Oriole's Avatar Oriole 02:43 PM 07-13-2007
I think cursive should be taught when kids are learning to write for the first time (K-1). :

At the same time, I wouldn't force your kid to struggle now. It is always harder to relearn things! Obviously you child already had exposure to it, and knows what it is. I guess I would complete a writing project that was done in cursive (maybe keeping a journal for a week? or some sort of family scrapbook with a few paragraphs explaining what's going on in the pictures?), and then would allow your dd to relax, and move on to other things.
kanpope's Avatar kanpope 02:53 PM 07-13-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I think cursive should be taught when kids are learning to write for the first time (K-1). :
Do you mean as their first style of writing? Instead of manuscript? I think ABeka uses that approach... That might be something to reconsider with my 6yo ds, but we are using 100 Easy Lessons...

Ddis struggling to even learn the cursive alphbet, so even a fun project has the potential to be painful.: But I will think about the scrapbook suggestion...that could be cool!
SagMom's Avatar SagMom 03:02 PM 07-13-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by kanpope View Post
Hi Ladies -
I have a question for y'all with older kids. In your opinion, how important is learning and mastering cursive writing at the 3rd/4th grade level?
I'm not convinced that it's important to ever learn it, actually.

Both of my older kids prefer printing to script and prefer typing to printing. I also either type or print.

We're able to communicate our thoughts as we need to, which, to me is the whole point of any kind of writing. It doesn't really matter to me what form this takes.

I don't see any reason why one couldn't learn to use script later on, if they wanted to, but I also don't see it as important enough to struggle over.
leewd's Avatar leewd 03:15 PM 07-13-2007
As a cursive/print combo writer myself, I think it is more important to learn to READ cursive than to WRITE it. People today (because of technology) are choosing to print or type over writing with cursive (like Joan said above).

For me, in the *real* world, the most important thing is knowing how to read. If the message is in cursive, we want to be able to read it. Our children should be taught to read it, but it shouldn't have to be painful.

Off the top of my head, maybe you could find a simplified cursive style or use the "script" font on your PC, and write a few short poems she already knows. Help her learn to decipher the words. Teach her to read cursive slowly. Once she can read it, perhaps she will decides she wants to write like that. This is how my sisters and I decided on our own to learn a little caligraphy.
LilyGrace's Avatar LilyGrace 03:21 PM 07-13-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I think cursive should be taught when kids are learning to write for the first time (K-1). :
So do I. D'nealian is structurally very close to cursive - the letters are for the most part nearly identical except for the extra 'swoop'. We used 100 EZ lessons with my oldest, then used printables I could make online for it - http://www.handwritingworksheets.com...n-1/make-d.htm

School screwed him up and refused to let him continue with D'nealian, marking his papers as failures if he didn't use Zane-Blosser. We went back to it when I pulled him out of school, but it was a long road again. This year we're moving on to cursive fully and he's much more confident in his writing abilities.
reeseccup's Avatar reeseccup 03:27 PM 07-13-2007
I have to agree with the "it's more important to be able to read than to write it". IMO when they are ready and desire to learn is the only best time to learn how to write in currsive. Even then I believe in offering up different styles and letting the person decide for themselves which one they are most comfortable in learning or which is closest to how they wish to learn how to write.

As for reading it, dd was reading some cursive not far behind just learning to read reg. text. SO I think expoisure in practical sense (she wants to read a note you wrote, so she'll figure out how to decifer it) to cursive handwritting is more important.

I have the most horrid handwritting, in both print and cursive, but it's more painful to read my cursive so I rarely do that where others must read it. DH is the same way, but not as bad.
alima's Avatar alima 03:33 PM 07-13-2007
My ds is 14, he has Tourette Syndrome, nearly all boys with TS are dysgraphic and struggle to learn to write. I agree with the pp that it's mostly just important to know how to read cursive than write it.

We struggled for years with handwriting, ds even had occupational therapy through the TS clinic on handwriting. They used handwriting without tears and he hated it, in school they used D'Nealian, he hated it. There was no system or program that made it easier for him.

The only thing I have focused on for many years now is to just make sure that he can read handwriting, and that he can write well enough to be understood, if he needs to. Anything else can be done on typewriter or computer. We did dictation for many years, just a few minutes every day, no more than 5. I'd read a sentence (we used The Hobbit) and he would write it down. Nothing worked as well to improve his comprehensibility, in both handwriting, and grammar/spelling, than dictation, and it was much less painful than the other things we'd tried.

Teenagers often become interested in learning things they had no interest in, or struggled with later. My ds is currently catching up on years of basic math, now that he's decided he wants to go to a really cool science camp when he's old enough. It's much easier for him to get the concepts now than it was at "grade level". If it's important to your dd, she will learn it. But really nice cursive handwriting is very quickly becoming redundant, I almost never get handwritten letters or notes anymore. Even my boss, who's desk is 5 feet away from mine, sends me emails during the day rather than notes, so we will both have a record of the note and don't have to bother filing things. If it's really important, she'll email me even when I'm there, so that we have the email to follow up on later.
UnschoolnMa's Avatar UnschoolnMa 04:31 PM 07-13-2007
Not a huge deal, IMO. Reading it is a skill I can see as being useful, but I think that could come along nice and slowly without too much fuss.

My son cannot stand to write by hand, and he hates cursive even more. He can do it, but he rarely chooses to. Dd on the other hand enjoys it, and she asked to learn it around 9 or so.
dharmamama's Avatar dharmamama 05:22 PM 07-13-2007
My daughter came from Ethiopia at the age of 11. She was homeschooled for nine months and then entered 6th grade in February of this year. She will be in 7th in the fall. She does not know how to write cursive. It has not hindered her at all. I can't remember the last time I used cursive aside from having to use it to write reports in grade school. By the time I reached middle school, reports had to be typed, and I never had a need for cursive again.

That said, when there are things in books that are written in cursive, my daughter can't read them. She doesn't like not being able to read cursive, but she just asks me to read it for her and has rejected my offers to teach her.

Her teacher said there would be no benefit to her for the time spent learning it.

dm
kanpope's Avatar kanpope 05:52 PM 07-13-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
So do I. D'nealian is structurally very close to cursive - the letters are for the most part nearly identical except for the extra 'swoop'. We used 100 EZ lessons with my oldest, then used printables I could make online for it - http://www.handwritingworksheets.com...n-1/make-d.htm
This site is awesome! Thank you soooooo much!
kanpope's Avatar kanpope 06:02 PM 07-13-2007
I found this too...
http://www.writingwizard.longcountdo...orksheets.html
http://www.handwritingforkids.com/handwrite/index.htm


I am going to make samples to make sure she can read it! Great points ladies...thank you!
momto l&a's Avatar momto l&a 06:03 PM 07-13-2007
Does anybody know if there anyplace that teaches the old style (late 1800's) of handwriting Its so beautiful IMO and I would like to learn it. Modern handwriting is mostly ugly IMO :

Lilygrace, thanks for that link
LilyGrace's Avatar LilyGrace 06:49 PM 07-13-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a View Post
Does anybody know if there anyplace that teaches the old style (late 1800's) of handwriting Its so beautiful IMO and I would like to learn it. Modern handwriting is mostly ugly IMO :

Lilygrace, thanks for that link
You're welcome.
I think for what you want you'd have to look for "italic calligraphy". It's the rounded, swoopy lettering - not the straight edged stuff. I learned a little of it when I was growing up.
One thing I really want to get for my boys (er...me ) is this calligraphy set. It's absolutely gorgeous - though better for Chinese/Japanese writing.
moondiapers's Avatar moondiapers 06:54 PM 07-13-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan View Post
I'm not convinced that it's important to ever learn it, actually.

Both of my older kids prefer printing to script and prefer typing to printing. I also either type or print.

We're able to communicate our thoughts as we need to, which, to me is the whole point of any kind of writing. It doesn't really matter to me what form this takes.

I don't see any reason why one couldn't learn to use script later on, if they wanted to, but I also don't see it as important enough to struggle over.

If they never learn it how will they read handwritten notes from other people?
SagMom's Avatar SagMom 08:28 PM 07-13-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
If they never learn it how will they read handwritten notes from other people?

My dd was reading script before she learned to write it. I imagine it was just from seeing it. When you think about it, most of the letters are similar enough that they're easily figured out if you know how to read print.
reeseccup's Avatar reeseccup 11:15 AM 07-14-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan View Post
My dd was reading script before she learned to write it. I imagine it was just from seeing it. When you think about it, most of the letters are similar enough that they're easily figured out if you know how to read print.
My dd was the same. She actually read script, before she even wrote in print. She taught herself how to read print, then script then how to write in print. She's now mildly interested in learning how to write in script, but only a certain style (can't think of the name). It's been a progress of years, with a couple of years gap between learning to read print and script (age 5-6) and writing print (6-7) and now (almost 9) she desires to learn script.

I understand those that wish to keep alive the "art of the pen", but for those that have no desire for that, it can truly be a painful process which makes one hate it even more. So I still state it ought not be a required thing [writing in script] to learn, as long as the person knows how to decipher others script enough to properly comprehend what is being written in script.
UUMom's Avatar UUMom 11:48 AM 07-14-2007
My kids all have awful handwriting (13, 14, 18). It's readable, but awful. And I know awful is subjective. Mine isn't so great, either. When they get cards or letters in the mail from older relatives, they comment on how pretty the writing is. I told them that's due to years of practice and often getting your knuckles wrapped with rulers.

I also appreciate nice handwriting, but it takes more than we are willing to give it to get it.

Even my 7th grade schooler uses a laptop for all wiring assignments. Saves everyone's eyes, kiwm?

I guess I am torn-- it can be quite an art form, but it is a dying one.
MMGerard's Avatar MMGerard 10:37 AM 07-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a View Post
Does anybody know if there anyplace that teaches the old style (late 1800's) of handwriting Its so beautiful IMO and I would like to learn it. Modern handwriting is mostly ugly IMO :

Lilygrace, thanks for that link
http://www.spencerian.com/
http://www.mottmedia.com/pages/publi...sp?Pub=spencer
Marsupialmom's Avatar Marsupialmom 11:10 AM 07-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a View Post
Does anybody know if there anyplace that teaches the old style (late 1800's) of handwriting Its so beautiful IMO and I would like to learn it. Modern handwriting is mostly ugly IMO :

Lilygrace, thanks for that link
You want to look into the Palmer method.
zonapellucida's Avatar zonapellucida 12:33 PM 07-16-2007
It is easier earlier IMO because children first learn to write/draw in circles but since I din't do this I am working on cursive now at her rate. They will learn it eventually...... Isn't HS great? It is all at their pace
2bluefish's Avatar 2bluefish 03:27 PM 07-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan View Post
I'm not convinced that it's important to ever learn it, actually...I don't see any reason why one couldn't learn to use script later on, if they wanted to, but I also don't see it as important enough to struggle over.
Not a mom of a 10 yo, but I agree with you. I personally feel that script is going to the wayside - it's more an art form than a skill that must be mastered. Neither dh nor I write anything but our siggies in script. We made it through graduate school just fine I do have great appreciation for fine script and can read it just fine, but I do not write in script.
townmouse's Avatar townmouse 03:36 PM 07-16-2007
My boys learn cursive in the 3rd grade, and have it mastered by the end of fourth. (all grade levels subjective, of course, but somewhere around 9-11 years old)

We use the Reason for Handwriting workbooks. It takes them 5 to 10 minutes a day, 4 days a week, but just that much practice is all that's needed. After they finish the "Transition to Cursive" book, I begin requiring cursive on other subject assignments.

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.
MMGerard's Avatar MMGerard 04:03 PM 07-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
You want to look into the Palmer method.
Is there a guide, workbook, etc. that teaches how to do the Palmer method? I've found lots of references to its having been taught in schools in the early 1900's, but can't find "how." Thanks!
cottonwood's Avatar cottonwood 07:55 PM 07-16-2007
No importance whatsoever. I really don't understand making people suffer to learn something that they do not need. A PP wondered whether one would be able to read cursive without learning to write it; my son is currently learning to read it, and he prints only. (He is very interested in deciphering my notes written in my own weird hybrid style. ) I can read all sorts of handwriting styles (it's really much more varied than linked vs. not linked) despite never having used them myself.

If a person wants to learn it later, they certainly can. I taught myself various kinds of calligraphic fonts and architectural printing, have made up an alphabet with completely unique symbols that I wrote cryptograms with, and have consciously altered my own handwriting style many times to incorporate letter forms that I hadn't used previously, all as an adult. I know people who have taught themselves to write in Arabic and Kanji as adults. To me it's a complete non-issue. If they are really in love with the idea of writing in a certain way, they can learn it when they want to. If not, it doesn't matter.
Momily's Avatar Momily 09:04 PM 07-16-2007
Not a HSer and I don't have a 10 year old, but I think the answer is it depends on a child.

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.

On the other hand, if your child has clear, efficient printing, then I think that learning cursive beyond signing one's name is not neccessary. Unfortunately, the kids with clear, efficient printing often feel good about their fine motor skills and are the ones eager to learn cursive.

There's also a third group of kids -- those with real fine motor/graphomotor delays for whom any kind of writing will always be hard. For them I'd establish some semi-legible printing and then focus on keyboarding, which is IMHO the most important of the three.
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 09:50 PM 07-16-2007
We skipped it completely. I mean she was shown how the letters are written that way but there was no requirement to practice or learn it.
UnschoolnMa's Avatar UnschoolnMa 10:18 PM 07-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
We skipped it completely. I mean she was shown how the letters are written that way but there was no requirement to practice or learn it.
It was fun for her when she was interested and then she just let it go. She goes back and forth between print and cursive when she writes now, and Ds is all print all the time.
oldermamato5's Avatar oldermamato5 11:40 PM 07-16-2007
My dd-9 prints. She has never asked about cursive but when she does I'll certainly show her. I don't think it's important though unless it's important to her. My ds-8 strongly dislikes anything to do with writing.
zonapellucida's Avatar zonapellucida 10:19 AM 07-17-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
We skipped it completely. I mean she was shown how the letters are written that way but there was no requirement to practice or learn it.

HMMMM maybe Isadora can cross one thing off her list for next year....
1 2 

Up