Do Your Kids Know Cursive?

Updated on June 27, 2013
A.G. asks from Houston, TX
36 answers

When did they learn it? My son's school doesn't teach cursive. Haven't really found out the reason yet. No skin of our noses though, as I taught him cursive last summer and practicing it again this summer.

While we are on the subject, is there anyone out there who doesn't know cursive? Just curious...no judging here whatsoever. To each his own!

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C.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I remember I was in 2nd grade when I learned. My daughter is 8 and going into 3rd and she was not taught at school. She does have her own interest in it and so she has kind of made up her own, lol. I will be teaching her soon though since she wants to know. My 5 year old son, we are just working on basic penmenship (sp?) for now.

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

I don't remember about my oldest but we had to teach my youngest in 2nd grade because of vision theropy and then the school did it in 3rd.

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D.N.

answers from Chicago on

Some schools are discontinuing cursive writing since computers are the way papers are now done. There was an article several months ago talking about how dependant we are on technology and the way things, like cursive writing are being dropped. One thing that was raised is: wil our children be able to read the Declaration of Independence or Constitution when they are adults. (actual not electronic versions)

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C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

Yes, they do. 3rd grade and 3rd grade ONLY. Everything else has been done here at home.

Schools are getting out of teaching cursive because everything is going digital...sorry - they still need to learn to sign their name!!!

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J.S.

answers from Hartford on

Second grade and up. All of my daughters know cursive. Well, my two youngers are still learning. It's required. I don't understand the attitude that some schools have that they don't have the time to teach it or that it's no longer a necessity because of computers and cell phones.

Good penmanship is necessary. People need to know how to take notes when there aren't computers or digital recorders around. People need to be able to know how to sign legal documents. The art of letter writing and other things that are typically hand-written first are so necessary. Most classwork is done by hand... and cursive is so much faster than printing.

There are more reasons, but I'm trying to make supper.

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A.H.

answers from Fort Smith on

I learned cursive when I was in fourth grade. I home school, my son will be in fourth next year so he has already started to learn it.
I know the schools here are phasing it out. From talking to a teacher it is partially because of technology; everything being typed or sent in an e-mail. But she also said it is because of the testing the kids have to do. Since so much emphasis is on children passing these tests more than ever and since cursive is not on the tests, they can use the time they used to spend teaching cursive to learn about something that will be on the test.
Personally, and this is my own opinion, I see it as something important to learn. Even though it may not help or hinder them when they enter the work force, I know many adults who only write in cursive and I would like my children to be able to understand their writing.
If it phases out completely, what would happen if a few generations from now someone comes across their great-great grandparents old letters. They wouldn't be able to read it, it would be like it was written in some forgotten language. I know that sounds overboard, but not when you think about ancient writings that are found that only someone who has studied that civilization can interpret.
I think you've done a great job making sure that even though schools no longer see it as something necessary to teach, that you went a head and did it. Kudos

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Yes.
Our son learned it in 2nd grade in private school, and then learned it again in 3rd and 4th grade in public school.
While we were dating all my love letters to my then boyfriend (now husband) were in cursive and he saved every one of them.
He has several paper grocery bags full of them - (I was a prolific writer while in college).
I have all 6 letters he sent me, too.
(He was more of a phone call guy than he was a writer but he always LOVED LOVED LOVED getting mail from me!).
This was at least 15 years before email was invented.
My husband can write in cursive but he prefers to write in block letters most of the time.
For writing checks and signing contracts and mortgages, the signature is cursive.

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R.R.

answers from Dallas on

my 11 year old learned cursive in 3rd grade in a private school. Then we moved him to public for 4th grade, where they do not teach cursive. He promptly began teaching his classmates cursive, so the teacher decided to set aside 10 minutes every day for cursive instruction for the whole class, as Andrew's instructional periods were becoming disruptive for the class. Gotta love a motivated 4th grade boy!

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A.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Yes. My 3 kids write cursive and read cursive.They keep practicing it.
A. :)

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A.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

My son knows cursive and uses it quite frequently... When I was growing up, I LOVED learning how to write in cursive.. it can be so beautiful.. I also think no computer , text message or email can ever replace a beautifully handwritten card in cursive.... To me, it's a skill that everyone should have...

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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

My soon to be 2nd grader is so anxious to learn. Her school teaches it, however, I am not sure if the public schools teach it.

I use it every day. At work, I have 2 monitors and one keyboard. I type constantly, cut, paste, save, and paste some more. Then my phone rings, I don't want to lose my place, so I pick up a pen and write while I listen to my caller. Of course, my caller is upset, so he speaks rapidly and I have no choice, but to take notes in cursive to keep up.

I also have a printed claim form that I enter into another system and if something was left off, I must hand write it. I can't imagine using block letters.

After reflecting on my day, I can't see them eliminating it just yet. I can't imagine a new person walking in and working all day printing in block letters.

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

My oldest learned cursive in Kindergarten and 1st grade (he's a sophomore now). My youngest learned it in 3rd grade (he's in 4th now).

I teach AP English, and most of my students prefer cursive. I tell them to write legibly. I don't care if they print or write in cursive. Anything major needs to be typed anyway.

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M.G.

answers from Seattle on

My daughter's school introduced cursive at the very end of this last school year. Luckily, my daughter had already been doing it on her own for a bit. She was in the 3rd grade.

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J.O.

answers from Boise on

I can read and write it, but I worked hard at cursive as a kid.

Of my older 4 only one can read and write it. They all learned it but didn't retain it. My son's can not read what I write if I don't print....and I never print :)

Of my younger kids, the 11 year old has zero interest. fine. The 9 year old does and practices on her own.

The other 2 are still to young.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

My GD learned it in 4th grade. I also know it.

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A.M.

answers from Kansas City on

My daughter started learning this last year (2nd grade), the school taught. She wants to do it so we are continuing to learn in case they don't teach them next year.

I read/and write. But it's more of a mix of cursive/print.

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M.G.

answers from Phoenix on

When my Niece was in 3rd grade back in 2008 yes they did.Now her Brother now in 4th grade,they taught him cursive.Are school is weird..lol

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G.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My daughter learned cursive in 4th grade at home, and my son learned it in 3rd grade at home. I have been using a really effective, kid-friendly curriculum called Handwriting Without Tears, which teaches an easy-to-learn, unslanted style. It was developed by a pair of OTs, and I would recommend it highly to anyone who wants to teach their children cursive at home, and especially for those of you whose kids are having a tough time with handwriting. My daughter has fine motor delays, and this curriculum has worked beautifully for her. My son likes it so much that he practices cursive by choice.

Our schools here do teach it in 3rd grade, but they give little time and attention to it, so many kids get frustrated and abandon it. The materials they use to teach it aren't all that user-friendly or helpful, either. I think one reason cursive is falling out of the curriculum in many schools is that it is a slow, time-intensive thing to learn, and the schools want to focus more on the core areas that will be tested.

I learned it starting in 2nd grade. Penmanship was still a subject when I was in school.

Cursive is a challenge to learn, but once one has become proficient it is much faster than printing. Cursive is also very individual. After you have learned the basic forms, you can adopt a handwriting style that is a means of self expression. Over time, your handwriting becomes as unique as your fingerprint.

I know that there are many of you out there who don't use cursive yourself and who don't consider it worth learning. Technology has indeed lessened the need for it, and some people don't enjoy writing by hand. It is much less of a necessity than it once was.

But I do believe that cursive is still important enough to teach, both for reading and writing. A pen and a small notebook can travel to places a computer just can't go as easily. Suppose you're a biologist out doing observations in the Amazon - are you always going to have a computer with you, powered up and ready to type your field notes? Suppose you become a historian? It sure would be handy to be able to read those primary sources that are written in cursive. Want to research your family history? Guess what - great-grandpa's diary is in cursive.

And there is nothing as touching and personal as a thank you note or a sympathy note written in a clear hand.

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C.M.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter knows cursive, but then I homeschool her and I taught her.

I am hearing that there are kids who can't sign their name because they don't know cursive!! The ONE use I can think of is a signature! I think schools should at least go over cursive as a quick unit and teach kids how to sign their name.

I taught my daughter so she knows what it is, but I allow her to print or type if she wants. I just wanted her to have the knowledge.

Somehow we all learned this in school and graduated and are living in the world JUST FINE. I don't see why they need to cut OUT things from the curriculum. Somehow we found time to learn it.

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

Our elementary school introduces it in the 2nd semester of 2nd grade.

In 3rd grade children begin in 1st semester with daily practice pages and practice writing. By the end of 3rd grade, the children are expected to use cursive for ALL assignments, with exception to some special needs children.

Students are expected to use cursive from that point on and if they do not, it is counted against the grade, slightly but the still lose a point or 2 for not following direction.

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J.K.

answers from Sacramento on

Here they teach it in 3rd grade, so my daughter knows it and insists on writing everything in cursive now :)

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J.C.

answers from New York on

I don' t think our school will teach it. And I am not worried about it. She will learn to sign her name and then probably type everything in the future!

I of course know because I am over 40.

I do know that most catholic schools still teach is.

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V.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

Yes. They were in private school in their early elementary years (all the way through elementary for our eldest), and they taught cursive beginning in kindergarten. That was all they used.

C.C.

answers from San Francisco on

It depends upon the individual teacher here. My older daughter didn't learn it in school, so I taught her at home. My younger daughter learned it this year (in 3rd grade). I have them write their thank you notes in cursive. I just think it looks better. :)

D.P.

answers from Detroit on

The need for cursive has become obsolete as technology has made all forms of communication readily available in print. Although some schools still teach it, the trend is leaning towards eliminating the teaching of cursive.

It may not be necessary but it would be a good thing to learn just in case our kids would someday develop an interest in reading old documents. Documents like the Declaration of Independence are written in cursive.

S.G.

answers from Grand Forks on

My son learned cursive at school in grade four. After they learn cursive all of their written work is done in cursive.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

In my State per public school, teaching cursive is not mandatory.
It is not, like how it was when I was a kid.
But however, many of the Teachers, will teach the kids cursive... and this occurs in about 3rd to 4th grade. But it is not all year long.

Schools also do not teach typing anymore.
But it is a needed skill.
So you teach that at home too.
When I was a kid, in middle school, typing was taught as a part of the curriculum. Not anymore.
Of course, nowadays "typing" is actually keyboarding. Because computers are the standard now.

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J.T.

answers from Victoria on

The schools here dont teach it. But I do know some moms who teach it on there own. Hand writing is becoming a lost art. I have a vauge memory of hearing something about wanting to put cursive back in schools as it helped with learning ablitiies, or a function of the brain??? i dont really remember but something did seem off and they chalked it up to cursive!

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C.H.

answers from Chicago on

No. They can all sign their name in cursive and that's about it. Printing for everything else. My oldest is a high school junior. They can read it, though. Our schools never gave it much time at all.

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

I don't know, as my oldest just finished kindergarten. But I have heard that schools are beginning to question whether or not this remains a necessary skill.

Schools are requiring students to type their papers and send things via email. As technology is increasing, the needs for cursive seems to be diminishing.

My SIL, who never took a typing class, wonders if that is also less needed. She said since more people are using tablets and touch screens, it is less helpful to know how to type. I disagree, as I quickly get frustrated typing on a touch screen. Or maybe it's just me.

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O.O.

answers from Kansas City on

Yes he does.
2nd grade.

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

They learned it in second grade. It was a short unit though, as there isn't much need for handwriting in the real world any more.
Yes it is beautiful and a way to strengthen fine motor skills but it really has become obsolete. My son absolutely hated writing until he learned to type (4th grade.) Once he was on the keyboard his words and ideas flourished.

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K.C.

answers from Denver on

My kids were briefly introduced to it in 2nd or 3rd grade, I think. They didn't spend too long on it, but they DID learn how to write it. They CHOOSE, however, to type everything that gets turned in, and when they do write, it's in block letters. They're going into 6th, 7th and 10th grades.

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J.T.

answers from College Station on

Schools no longer teach cursive. My 2 older ones learned it starting in second grade, and I had to BEG my 3rds 3rd grade teacher to teach it. They did finally add it back in the spring semester. My older ones don't use their cursive. It was no longer required after 5th grade. Their writing is neater when they use cursive, but since they don't use it, it takes them a long time to write.

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J.K.

answers from Wausau on

They are taught in grades 3/4 where I live. I think most kids enjoy learning and like to be able to write their name. The days of endless penmanship practice is over though. It isn't an essential life skill or part of the core curriculum topics, so they don't spend a lot of time on it. It's good to know how to do it and is important to be able to read it.

In regards to some comments below - It is a common misconception that you need to sign legal documents and checks in cursive. You can print your name, or even make a graphic doodle. For legal purposes, the style of your signature is not important, just the consistency.

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W.H.

answers from Sacramento on

My son learned cursive starting in 3rd grade. He went to a Waldorf school, not public. I learned cursive in public grade school, but that was in the 60's!

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