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Our View: The demise of cursive writing

Published: Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

A thoughtful reader recently pointed us to what she believed was an important issue that she hadn’t seen addressed: a lack of instruction in cursive writing in area schools.

It was an interesting point, so we explored it further and learned that, yes, most schools have cut back in instruction time on cursive writing and some have eliminated it, at least as part of the districtwide curriculum.

After speaking with representatives from area schools, we don’t quibble much with an overall reduction in classroom time spent teaching children this craft. They still should know the basics, how to sign their names and be able to comprehend cursive writing.

But children today are entering a workforce and even a social sphere that will be more and more reliant on typing, texting, emailing and spending the vast majority of their time communicating by electronic means.

Even “honey-do” lists in 2013 are often sent to our phones.

Cursive writing isn’t exactly cave painting, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it mostly extinct within a few more generations. Some will mourn its passing, but there are more important things to consider.

IOHO (In Our Humble Opinion), despite the corruption of the language in a texting culture, those who can communicate effectively via electronic means will remain people of influence.

Students should be learning how to write, craft a sentence, a meaningful paragraph and an impactful essay. As an adult, the manner in which they do so will not be in cursive if they are expecting anyone other than a close friend or family member to read it.

We’d hope that instruction time taken away from cursive writing would be spent teaching students other valuable writing tools.

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