Why We Need Cursive

Should we require kids to learn cursive writing in schools? It’s a hot button issue for sure.

Many schools have removed cursive writing from their curriculums. In the U.S., it’s not included in State Standards anymore in 45 states. There is a lot of debate about this, but I’m on the side of keeping this important skill in schools and colleges and active in our lives as adults.

Yes, I’m one of those people who enjoys cursive writing. I keep a handwritten journal and I’ve done so for twenty years. But that’s not the only reason I feel strongly about cursive.

Even though I have a strong opinion, I’m interested in keeping the debate going. So I’ll tell you why I’m pro-cursive writing. Then you can tell me why I’m right or wrong 😉


Cursive Joke

Writing by hand embeds knowledge into the brain better than using laptops or other devices, according to scientists. There are several examples to back this up…

We know that students who use laptops take more notes. That’s a good thing, right? Well… turns out, students who take notes by hand ABSORB the information better.

(Again, the argument surfaces that more isn’t necessarily better —similar to the way a longer book isn’t necessarily better than a shorter book.)

A study by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer found that

“…those who wrote out their notes by hand had a stronger conceptual understanding and were more successful in applying and integrating the material than those who used took notes with their laptops.”

The same study concluded that writing by hand evokes more emotions and connections with personal thought processes than typing.

Sometimes I write portions of the outlines for my books by hand. In cursive. Maybe this explains why I find that cursive writing helps to jump start my brain and make me more creative!

In Psychology Today, Dr. William R. Klemm gives the physiological evidence for this. He says that brain scans taken while people were writing by hand showed that “massive” regions of the brain were activated, engaged in language, thinking, and working memory. Fascinating stuff.

So what is it specifically about cursive writing?

Dr. Klemm says part of the advantage of cursive writing is that, at least on some level, you’re forced to think about what letter is coming next before you write it, which is more mentally demanding than printing the letters and much more than typing them.

And, The New York Times says,

“Cursive handwriting stimulates brain synapses and synchronicity between the left and right hemispheres, something absent from printing and typing.”

Cursive handwriting is also supposed to be faster than print handwriting. But it’s not faster if you don’t practice it —  so let’s practice it!

And let’s teach the kids!

Cursive Writing Humor

It may be frustrating at times … but I say it’s worth it. What say you?

Meanwhile —

Caffeinate and Carry On!

Diane Capri

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9 Responses to Why We Need Cursive

  1. Bill Wright October 1, 2015 at 9:11 am #

    Have to agree that writing by hand is most important. Next up is legibility…and I believe there is something to be said for two items in this area…hardware and software…

    Hardware–fountain pens are a must. They can be inexpensive and fuss-free–a very nice piston-filler can be purchased for under $20 and serviceable disposable fountain pens for under $3. One of my personal constant daily favorites is a $30 Lamy AL-Star…about $35.

    Software–Cursive can bring tears to the non-artistic. Too many of us were “cursive-d” with D’Nealian in school. A good friend, Kate Gladstone, has the solution…Italic…take a look at her website…and you all will see what I mean…http://www.handwritingrepair.info

    • Diane October 6, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

      Now we just have to instill our values in the children! A monumental task… but well worth it, I’d say.

  2. Janet Lane Walters October 1, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

    My Granddaughter spent a year going to school in England – third grade. They were astonished that she didn’t know cursive writing. They began learning this in school and this was the way I was taught. One of my teachers said “Printing is for reading, Cursive is for learning and communicating.”

    • Diane October 6, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

      “Printing is for reading, Cursive is for learning and communicating.” – I like that! Makes sense to me…

  3. Sharon Aguanno (Armymom) October 2, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    I am 100% with you on this one Diane. When this started rumoring the first thing I thought of was the historical documents. How do they go into a museum and read the docs… Realy, cursive is a must, if the school won’t teach it, the parent must!

    • Sharon Aguanno (Armymom) October 2, 2015 at 11:14 am #

      Did I really spell really wrong… good grief! 🙂

    • Diane October 6, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

      Exactly, Sharon.

  4. Pat Welte October 3, 2015 at 1:44 am #

    I agree we need to keep teaching cursive. I learn new tasks and how to operate computer software and cell phone, and anything I need to remember by writing it out in cursive. I see many young people printing out notes and it looks like a third grader.

    • Diane October 6, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

      Pat, yes! I do believe there’s something about writing in cursive that better instills the words in the memory.

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