So I read this thing from Nautilus this morning, and I had so many thoughts ranging from YAY to OOPS to *sigh* that I decided to post it here. It’s really not fair to call out STATISTICS for the post title – I think the statistics were probably normal, but they were represented wonkily.
So, thoughts, because I’m trying to get them straight.
1) I WAS WRONG: the benefits of handwriting are there whether you use cursive or manuscript (and the fastest way to write is your personally-developed combination). I couldn’t find the exact science for cursive because it’s not really there. Writing by hand is great for your brain, but it doesn’t matter if you’re writing in cursive or not.
2) Knowing that there’s no additional scientific benefit frees me up to admit that this quoted section of the article represents my deepest feelings on the matter:
“And I confess I’m old-fashioned enough to think that, regardless of proven cognitive benefits, a good handwriting style is an important and valuable skill, not only when your laptop batteries run out but as an expression of personality and character. I should also say that cursive is a perfectly respectable, and occasionally lovely, style of writing, and children should have the opportunity to learn it if they have the time and inclination.”
I think kids should learn both styles and be able to mix them in a way to balance speed and legibility. But. If kids don’t wanna learn (to the point of true frustration) or struggle disproportionately, I think it wouldn’t hurt to take it off the table.
I think it’s important to have options available so kids can develop interests and skills and … personality pegs.
3) WE COULD LET OUR TEACHERS OFF THIS HOOK NOW. Oh wait. We can’t. It was already a thing, but now has been built into an Alabama law that pushes the proficiency deadline back to the end of third grade, which is the academic point when I thought kids should start learning cursive.
Y’all. All the teachers I know wish there was a way to teach all the things without turning kids’ brains into mush. But there’s not.
And I’m still thinking.