Does your child's school teach cursive? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 56 Old 09-30-2010, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a homeschooling mom so I do not always know what is going on at the public schools around me. I mostly just teach what feels right for my family and me.

Recently I was on another forum for parents and they were talking about that a lot of schools are dropping teaching cursive since it is not really needed any more since everyone mostly uses computers. This just seemed strange to me, so I thought I would ask all of you that have kids in public or private schools. Does your school still teach cursive, if it does at what grade level is it taught? I am pretty sure when I was in school we started around the end of 2nd or the beginning of 3rd.

Also whether or not cursive is taught in your child's school, is there any emphasis put on good penmanship at your child's school? This was another part of the discussion on the other forum also that so long as teachers can make out what the students are writing they really do not try to improve their penmanship at all.
I do feel that nice penmanship is a good thing to work toward and do plan to at least introduce cursive to my children. They will also be introduced to calligraphy at some point, just because I think it is fun.

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#2 of 56 Old 09-30-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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Cursive is taught in 3rd grade in my district. My DS is only in 1st, but I student taught 3rd, and by the spring they were expected to do all their classwork in cursive. I felt bad for a few of the kids who had a really hard time with it -- it slowed them down SO much and caused lots of tears.

I think that kids obviously need to learn how to at least read cursive, but to have it be such a strict requirement that ALL the work needs to be done in cursive at age 8 or 9 seems pretty harsh to me.

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#3 of 56 Old 09-30-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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They're taught cursive for about half an hour in third grade. There is very little emphasis on penmanship in our public school.

I went to a very repressive catholic school a long, long time ago, and the nuns were obsessed with penmanship. We spent endless long hours copying religious passages using the Palmer method and got graded on penmanship.

My kids both have lovely handwriting, and mine is atrocious, so maybe they are on to something these days.
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#4 of 56 Old 09-30-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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Yep. My son just started learning it this week. He's in third. I am so excited. He really struggles with handwriting and I really think that cursive fits better with the way he wants to form his letters (he wants to start at the bottom for some letters verses the top where he should for printing). I also believe it will make his writing quicker once he gets the hang of it which will be really nice for him as well.

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#5 of 56 Old 09-30-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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yup 3rd grade here too. not sure how much emphasis they put on it, but they do have to learn it.

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#6 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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Dd is only in Kindergarten at a private school, but I know they've talked about learning cursive later on (the do d'Nealian, which lends its self well to learning cursive.) I'm pretty sure it will be 2nd or 3rd grade when they do it. I remember learning in 3rd.

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#7 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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we are still in preschool but i'm always picking the brains of moms with older kids in elementary. one was saying that at her older son's school, they start off teaching them to write their letters from the beginning with the loopty-loos prepping them to go right into cursive. i guess it all depends on the district? if i were homeschooling, (and it's still an option depending on how things go!) i would do the cursive. it just seems like something everyone should know regardless of computers and typing being the norm.
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#8 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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In our district, we teach but it's not really assessed. I don't know any teachers who would score down an assignment for not being written in cursive. If a student's writing is illegible or impedes reader access to what they're trying to say (like you have to work so hard to decipher it, you miss the meaning... or one student who wrote so tiny that anyone over the age of 40 needed a magnifying glass ), then yeah. Work on penmanship.

Otherwise... my philosophy is to teach it as an optional way of "dressing up" letters... everyone learns it on some rudimentary level but it's up to the student if they want to use it. I never use cursive and my quality of life has not suffered for it, nor would it really improve if I wrote in beautiful cursive on a regular basis. Still, some people like to write in cursive, so everyone should probably at least know how to read it.

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#9 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 01:30 AM
 
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My sons private school teaches print in PK4, and by the end of kindergarten the children are learn cursive writing.

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#10 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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Easiest time to teach it is when they start learning to write in pre-k, before print. I would imagine most schools teach it, but later than that. Just an assumption, though.
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#11 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 02:01 AM
 
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DD1 goes to a private school, they start cursive in 3rd grade. She started in 1st grade though since she is dyslexic.

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#12 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 02:07 AM
 
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My older 2 learned in third grade. I harped on penmanship because my dh's is awful. Dd is good, ds is awful, his name even looks misspelled and he doesn't write a capital G correctly which is important as it's the first letter in our last name. Ds#2's school doesn't teach it. He's in 6th grade and doesn't have a signature. I really need to get on that.
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#13 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 08:17 AM
 
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DD loves it. They're doing one letter a day in 3rd grade now, and it's taught 1-on-1 with the teacher. This is now the first time any teacher has watched how DD holds a pencil, noticed that she forms most of her printed letters incorrectly. So we're seeing cursive as both a fresh start as well as something that may very well help her printing. None of this would be the case, though, if she didn't love it.
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#14 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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My dc attended Montessori schools, so they learned cursive from the beginning (pre-kindergarten age). I think it's taught usually taught in 3rd grade in the public schools. I recall the excitement when they were allowed to "graduate" from using a pencil to a pen.
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#15 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 10:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewsMother View Post
My sons private school teaches print in PK4, and by the end of kindergarten the children are learn cursive writing.
Same thing here. They start teaching handwriting (cursive) in Kindy. They used Handwriting without Tears in dd's school, IIRC. And yes, in 3rd grade (and in 1st and 2nd as well), one of dd's homework assignments every night is orthography. She has quite nice penmanship for her age. I'm quite "old-school" and I find that I like the emphasis on handwriting. Such a dying art.
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#16 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Same thing here. They start teaching handwriting (cursive) in Kindy. They used Handwriting without Tears in dd's school, IIRC. And yes, in 3rd grade (and in 1st and 2nd as well), one of dd's homework assignments every night is orthography. She has quite nice penmanship for her age. I'm quite "old-school" and I find that I like the emphasis on handwriting. Such a dying art.
Ds's school also uses handwriting without tears, but I do believe that they use the same or a similar curriculum. Ds's school is only IB during the 11th and 12th grade. Before that they use IPC, and the programme of set in place byt the French Ministry of National Education.

I hope that our school teaches Orthography.

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#17 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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I learned cursive in 4th grade. In fact, I was going to skip cursive as part of our homeschooling until I started reading about the Montessori approach and realized it made sense to add in. I wish we had started it early.

I think the denelian (sp?) is a better way to introduce print because it makes the transition to cursive easier and it also helps children who confuse letters. We are using Hand Writing Without Tears very loosely.

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#18 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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Our school does, in third grade also. My son's been wanting to do it forever so he started at home about a year ago. I don't think they mark them down for how well they do it though, as long as they have the basics and the teacher could read it.
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#19 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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Just another data point -- California public school, they had cursive last year in third grade. She developed nice handwriting, but their homework is still in printing.
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#20 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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Yes, in 3rd grade. DS1 is learning it now.
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#21 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your responses. It really sounds like most schools do still have it and that seems like a good thing to me.

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#22 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 04:39 PM
 
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I agree -- if nothing else, it's so much FASTER than printing. Plus of course we still need to have signatures.
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#23 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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Cursive is taught starting in grade three, it's required for all work being handed in starting in grade five. The second part there, I really don't agree with. Yeah, it's nice to know cursive, but I see no reason to require it. Really, the only time in someones life it will be required is from grade 5 until grade 7, once you hit high school they care more about being able to read what you write and not so much about how you write it.

I do think they focus too much on good penmanship. Sure we'd all love to be able to write neatly, but for most people to be able to write neatly means putting so much focus on letter formation that you loose your place in where you're writing. I'd rather they just focus on legibility.

Thalia, cursive is not always faster than printing when you make a complete comparison. For DH, it's only faster if it doesn't matter if anyone is able to even dream about being able to read it. If he wants himself and others to read what he writes, his printing is faster and neater.

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#24 of 56 Old 10-01-2010, 11:19 PM
 
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My children go to Montessori where cursive is taught in preschool, before K. Cursive is taught first, then print.

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#25 of 56 Old 10-02-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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Good penmanship is taught in the primary grades but they look for doing your best, not perfection. Some kids best is at a readable or barely readable level rather than a beautiful level. The last thing they cover is cursive in third grade and, according to the OT I spoke to about my dd's writing, typically kids who struggle with penmanship improve enough to not need suppor with writing when they do cursive.
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#26 of 56 Old 10-03-2010, 08:44 AM
 
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We live overseas and my daughter is in the French school system. She started learning cursive writing last year in senior kindergarten and will perfect it this year in first grade.

Cursive writing is (still) super important in the French system, as all tests are written in cursive, and the final exams in the senior year (the "baccalaureate") are to be completed in cursive writing. The baccalaureate exams are long and cursive writing is faster than printing.

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#27 of 56 Old 10-03-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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The schools are dropping it out of laziness and using computers as an excuse. It is the same excuse they are using for using calculators in math instead of learning math. Many schools have dropped spelling and grammar too. There is so little left that they teach.

The SAT, ACT, and the AP tests all have essay components. If the graders cannot read the answers, your child will not get a good grade. Plus, even if your child writes an excellent paper, poor handwriting does tend to affect the final score. Since my children are in those high school years and looking at taking these tests, I have been reading up big time on it. Lots of parents are pulling out handwriting books now, in high school, trying to get their children ready for the SATs. I think it is pitiful. My son was in public school and my daughter homeschooled. His handwriting is horrible. He can write a beautiful paper if he types it. He wants to be in engineering (actually, computer science or computer engineering) so he will need handwriting and drawing and other fine motor skills. So he has been working hard to recover what he was never taught.

I hope that helps!
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#28 of 56 Old 10-03-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
Cursive writing is (still) super important in the French system, as all tests are written in cursive, and the final exams in the senior year (the "baccalaureate") are to be completed in cursive writing. The baccalaureate exams are long and cursive writing is faster than printing.
How interesting!! Dd's curriculum is IB and I had no clue that they had to write the exams in cursive. I'm going to have to find out about this.
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#29 of 56 Old 10-03-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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I think cursive is a pretty useless skill (besides for signatures...) especially in the technological age, so I wouldn't be surprised to see it being pushed to the side to emphasize typing skills or frankly anything else. I do think good handwriting is important, but I think printing is sufficient.

That said, my son's school taught cursive in kindergarten and they were pretty hard core about it. Lots of homework and practice writing in class. They did printing as well, but they really emphasized cursive.

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#30 of 56 Old 10-03-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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I think cursive is a pretty useless skill (besides for signatures...) especially in the technological age.
Why is it useless? That's like saying violins are useless because we have synthesizers that produce the same sound. Sometimes something is useful for the artistry and beauty of it. Handwriting is still personal and more effective than just a typewritten page.

I think that orthography is VERY important - even if it doesn't mean beautifully handwritten messages will be written in the future, it helps dexterity and fine motor skills. I'd like to think, though, that people will still put pen to paper for years to come. I guess I'm a romantic, though.
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