The women in my family are letter writers, and they have the handwriting to prove it. It has always been valued in my world. My paternal grandmother would write these beautiful letters to people – hers was a careful and precise handwriting that had proportions that would make a specialist weep. Her cursive included perfect “z’s” and “q’s” – places that even those of us with pretty good penmanship cut corners. I have a recipe from her that is written on a plain piece of lined paper, and I intend to keep it forever (even though I have made the recipe only once). My mom handwrites all of her letters and Christmas cards – and has a great deal of flourish in her writing. When she and I traded places for a high school function, she took copious notes for me in history class, but I could barely read them because they were so…..fancy. She doesn’t email as much as she writes. I will know her handwriting long after she is gone from this world from that of any other person, because it is personal, gorgeous and distinct. She takes pride and care in her writing, and has taught me the value of the time it takes to write a note to someone.
There’s a lot of talk about cursive instruction going the way of my Air Supply 8-track cassettes, as it is no longer in the core standards that so many states have now adopted. There is some research out there that would indicate that cursive uses a part of the brain that will now go unused.
What do you think about this? Should schools continue to teach this form of communication, or should it be something that goes by the wayside?