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August 24, 2011 - Kylie Saari
It is a big deal these days, but not because it is what all the cool kids are doing. It is because so few kids are doing it schools are phasing it out. And it is a lot of school. An article I read said 80 percent of states no longer require it for public education.
And it is kind of freaking us old timers out.
When my son was a second grader he was super excited to learn cursive. For him it meant not only was he a big kid, but he could finally read what grown ups were writing.
I mainly write in cursive, but I understand I am in the minority. My husband prints exclusively, and of course, we are in the minority together because we actually put a pen to paper instead of just texting each other and others.
I understand that a lot of communication is by computer now. I get that kids could get through life without perfectly balancing the top and bottom loop of a lower case f above and below the line. I even get that teachers are so overwhelmed with the volume of information to pass on to students that sometimes things have to be culled.
I think of this as I consider short-hand. My mom had to learn short hand in school. In my job today, I wish I had learned it too. She has shown me, but it is so foreign it might as well be a different language. I don't want my kids to look at my notes when they are older and not understand that it is English simply because they didn't learn cursive.
And I do write out my notes in interviews by hand. I often actually write my stories out long-hand and then type them back at the office. It is not because I don't understand computers, or even that I don't have a laptop, I do. I have typed stories out on my smart phone. I just prefer to do it by hand. The story flows better, and I have a chance to edit it as I put it into the word processing program.
And while I joke about being old, it hasn't been that long since I was in school. I had both handwriting and computer classes in school, even in elementary school.
So, while I am all for progress, and accept that technology is the big deal these days, I would be upset to learn my kids weren't going to learn how to write. After all, it is on of the three "r"s of schooling. And don't even get me started on how only one of those actually starts with r.
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