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What is the point in cursive writing?

(52 Posts)
BufordTJustice Mon 31-Oct-16 16:09:09

When my DD started school last year and I was introduced to cursive writing I wasn't a fan but she is managing with it though half the time I can't decipher her writing at all. Now my DS has started I am really questioning the point of it. He is a summer baby and is really struggling. He cannot even write his own name. I believe this to be because he is struggling with this form of writing. I just don't see the point of it. In this modern world what place does being able to write in perfect joined up writing have? I did not learn to write this way and manage to produce legible script on the very, very rare occasion it is called for. Is it just me???

HummusForBreakfast Mon 31-Oct-16 16:12:26

In the long term cursive worrying is much easier and much faster.

Also what is the point of teaching children to write in one way and then tell them actually they now need to write another way (which was what they were suppose to do. Aka having to learn a different way to firm letters in Y2 when they had learn the 'normal' was in R)

You do have a point about making it hard to read, mainly because we aren't used to some letters so we (the adults!) don't recognise them...,

OldBootNewBoots Mon 31-Oct-16 16:14:38

Can't see the point - especially as most people hardly write these days other than notes or cards. My dd struggles with it and I can't do it and honestly can't see why it's worth the effort, would love to know why it is focused on

cosytoaster Mon 31-Oct-16 16:15:09

I totally agree, the assumption that everyone should write in the same style seems silly, surely just writing legibly is more important. When I write anything I print I don't see why children have to write as if we're still in the Victorian era!

MrsMulder Mon 31-Oct-16 16:15:25

This seems to vary from school to school. My ds's school don't go on about it and are happy that the children are just making marks that look like letters, when I spoke to the teacher about ds not forming letters correctly she said that's fine. My nieces school however seem to be sending out cursive writing homework sheets all the time! I wouldn't worry about it too much.

pklme Mon 31-Oct-16 16:16:11

It's much faster because you don't remove the pen from the paper as often. When you write quickly, letters tend to run into each other anyway. If this happens 'any old how' then writing becomes hard to read. Learning proper formation and joins means even fast writing (notes at uni etc) is legible.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 31-Oct-16 16:17:53

> In this modern world what place does being able to write in perfect joined up writing have

the point of joined up writing is that (once you've mastered it) it's faster than unjoined. And they do need to be able to write legibly and sufficiently fast for schoolwork and eventually exams in subsequent years. Doing everything on computers is probably some way off (especially for exams, ensuring the computer is in a state which precludes cheating isn't trivial from what I've heard)

Eolian Mon 31-Oct-16 16:26:01

Because it's faster. And it's all very well saying it's silly to insist children all write in the same style, but they have to all be taught to write! You can't teach them all to write however they want from the beginning. Their own personal handwriting style will develop over time. Printing is slower and often looks a bit childish imo. sad at the idea of writing becoming obsolete. I don't think it will - Pinterest and Instagram are stuffed with examples of beautiful handwriting styles, calligraphy and artistic lettering.

80schild Mon 31-Oct-16 16:31:13

You could argue what the point of anything us once you start down this road. I learnt cursive writing and in terms of use, I use it more than most of the skills I learnt in school.

hugoagogo Mon 31-Oct-16 16:34:08

I thought this too until I had to do 3hr exams. I got a book and practised like mad.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 31-Oct-16 18:32:42

Though I do have some sympathy OP - I think there are quite a few elements of formal education which are started to young in the UK. Some kids struggle with reading in KS1, then suddenly it clicks in yr3 ... but the joy of it may have been extinguished.

mrz Mon 31-Oct-16 18:39:02

*"*^*the assumption that everyone should write in the same style seems silly*^*"*
Fortunately there isn't any such assumption schools are free to teach any style and decide when and how to introduce handwriting.

As a number of people have already said cursive handwriting once mastered is much faster than printing each letter which is an advantage when children sit timed tests.
Research has also shown that handwriting actually benefits reading and spelling as well as triggering memory so reinforcing learning in ways that doesn't happen when using a keyboard.

BufordTJustice Mon 31-Oct-16 22:04:11

Thank you all for your comments. Food for thought certainly. We will persevere with the cursive as I can see the future advantage - hard sometimes when your 4 year old is upset because he can't form an "a" sad

TabithaBethia Mon 31-Oct-16 22:11:06

What an interesting thread thlsmile.

I'm another one who could read dc's printed writing in yR and completely foxed by this new twirly effort in y1 and y2.

She has literally had to slowly explain to me how F's look nowadays thlhmm

MrsKCastle Mon 31-Oct-16 22:12:16

I think that learning joined up writing is important, but I don't see what benefit there is for cursive over just 'normal' joined up writing. Is it faster? I personally don't think it looks any better.

(By cursive, I am assuming you mean where some letters are formed in a very different way, e.g. b)

ErrolTheDragon Mon 31-Oct-16 22:12:57

Oh, I feel your pain ... yes, I can remember the hell of the 'a' quite clearly. flowers

HummusForBreakfast Mon 31-Oct-16 22:32:29

The thing is, this is how people still write in a lot of countries and the way people use to write here too (not sure when the change happened to the so called 'normal' writing).

By experince though, schools who do make the children do a lot of exercises to form the letters are doing the right thing.
My dcs didn't and as a consequence, the way they are forming the letters is very hit and miss.

HorridHenrietta2 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:39:59

It's supposed to help with spelling too "research shows"
Because if you learn to write a word without taking pen off paper then your brain remembers the word pattern rather than a series of letters, I thinkhmm
Personally I find it all a bit odd the way we carry on as if the world will stop spinning if the letters don't join!!thlshock

ReallyTired Mon 31-Oct-16 22:45:30

My daughter's school learnt pre cursive writing. Ie. They learn the letters with the joins and flicks. It's easy join the letters at a later date. Pre cursive writing is more sensible than the printing I was taught in infants. Drawing the letter in one movement prevents b/d confusion.

Some children find learning to write hard whatever their age. In theory cursive writing from reception means the child does not have to unlearn handwriting.

I have to admit I am glad dd school does pre cursive.

SuburbanRhonda Mon 31-Oct-16 22:51:21


My DS did his all GCSEs and A level exams (not maths, obvs) on a computer because of problems with handwriting and grip. It's very straightforward to disable any features that would constitute "cheating".

mrz Tue 01-Nov-16 05:18:08

"Cursive" just means joined handwriting that flows together. It can be as plain or as fancy as you like ...

mollie123 Tue 01-Nov-16 05:46:30

It looks much more pleasing to the eye than individual letters.
Being of the old school - I was taught joined up writing at 5 and I like to think my writing is eminently readable and elegant compared to the 'scrawl' that appears to pass for 'writing' amongst the younger generations.
Sad to see another skill/accomplishment being rubbished because it is 'not needed' now we have computers. sad

JosephineMaynard Tue 01-Nov-16 06:03:49

DS1 is in reception and he's being taught to write the letters in a pre cursive writing way too (with the joins and flicks).

It looked odd at first, but I can see the advantage to learning them that way rather than printing them and having to relearn them later when they start proper cursive writing.

mrz Tue 01-Nov-16 06:08:52


Yakitori Tue 01-Nov-16 06:08:56

I learned printing and then cursive in Y6 when I changed schools. I picked it up quickly. I think this is a better way as I can do both in different situations.

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