So my kid just came and asked me how to writing a cursive I.
"Now what now?" I asked, not even understanding this question, since she never writes anything by hand anyway, so why....
"I'm lettering," she said impatiently. "My comic, I need --"
"Oh." I looked around. But of course I never write anything by hand either anymore, so there's no pen or paper or pencil or anything anywhere around here. (It is one of the common cries you hear in our household, me lamenting, when it comes time to pay the bills, because I still do pay a few bills by check, how is it possible, I will lament, that we have two writers and an artist living here, and there is never a pen anywhere in the house?)
Anyway. What I finally did, I took her to Wikipedia and found her this chart, which shows what all the cursive letters are supposed to look like, though as I recollect mine never did, and certainly do not now.
But this page is even more interesting.
It tells us that on the SAT in 2006, only 15% of US students wrote their answers in cursive; and that although most schools (90%) still require that cursive be taught, most teachers have no training in teaching it.
I'll tell you my kid has abysmal handwriting, though she did get a ton of handwriting practice at the Montessori school. (I have no idea whether her teachers had formal training in the teaching of cursive writing.)
I'll tell you also that I'm not much worried about it, because she literally almost never had to write anything by hand. Even this "cursive I" that she is "writing," she is actually drawing with a pen and a tablet on a computer screen. Which I suppose is a kind of writing.
I'd say we're maybe ten to twenty years from everything being done on keyboards. Indiana and Hawaii have already dropped the requirements for teaching cursive, substituting keyboarding proficiency instead.
I understand there's a theory that learning cursive develops pathways in the brain that keyboarding doesn't. But I imagine teaching art and music would develop those pathways as well. Instead of spending hours learning an archaic technique students will never use, spend those hours on art and music. Why not?
I know my kid would be happier. Well, about the art, anyway.
(She's still resolutely refusing to learn to play a musical instrument.)
6 hours ago