Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Homeschool Conundrum of Cursive Writing

There is no doubt in my mind that cursive writing is a dying art form. With the advancement of the computer age, typing or even texting, are quickly replacing the flowing loops of the handwritten page. However, dying is not the same as dead, and therein lies the cursive conundrum. How much time should a homeschool parent spend teaching cursive?

  • Outside of your signature, how often do you write in cursive on a daily basis?

  • If you or your spouse could not write in cursive, how detrimental would that be to your employment?

  • How many times in the last week, month, or year have you encountered a handwritten note or set of directions written in cursive?

  • When you did encounter cursive, was it in a business environment, or in a letter from an elderly relative?

  • What are the current requirements for college entrance exams? Do essay sections have to be written in cursive, or can they be printed?

  • If you had to print an essay on an exam, would it hamper your speed and ability to complete the exam?

  • What is your personal objective in homeschooling? Are you preparing your children with life skills? Are you aiming them towards a college experience? Are you trying to duplicate the public/private school experience, but in a home environment?

Your particular answer to these questions should help you to decide how much time to spend on cursive instruction. For our part, I've insisted that the children learn to read cursive, and at least learn how to write well enough to be read. I usually require my older children write out their daily verse in curse (a one to two minute exercise). Beyond that, they are welcome to print or type, whichever they prefer. We spend far more time working on typing skills than we do handwriting.

I view it much the same way as I do calligraphy. It is not really a necessary skill to have, but on occasion, it can come in handy. Much like being able to make those little frosting roses on a cake. Some skills are not essential, but their addition has an enriching effect on our lives.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

1 comment:

Becky said...

I think it is important for the kids to at least be able to read cursive, especially if they watch "Tom & Jerry", because almost all the notes in that cartoon are written in cursive! :)