Poll: Cursive Writing

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Did you learn to write in cursive?

Yes
10
83%
No
2
17%
 
Total votes: 12

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High Spy
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Poll: Cursive Writing

Post by High Spy »

I was watching Reuters Afternoon News this morning and there was a segment about cursive handwriting being taught in public school. One expert mentioned its effect on the brain. What are your experience and thoughts about connected writing?
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20240122-california-signs-cursive-writing-into-law-what-are-the-brain-benefits wrote:Cursive writing is still widely taught in Western Europe. Spain, Italy, Portugal, and France have held onto the tradition. And in the UK, joined-up handwriting is still taught in English classrooms. The UK government’s Ofsted research review states that "the national curriculum requires children to learn unjoined handwriting before they 'start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters'".
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IWMP
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Re: Poll: Cursive Writing

Post by IWMP »

My son had gone to nursery at a different school where he was taught cursive from the get go. And then for reception (age 5) I moved him to a closer school that didn't do cursive and sort of introduced it by year 3 but didn't push it. Moved him school in year 3 and he found that all the other kids were expected to be writing in cursive and now he does. My daughter couldn't read or write until recently (son was able to write by age 3) she is nowhere near being able to comprehend cursive. Struggling with reflections. Strangely though, her writing is neater than his although not correct. Cursive might actually help her with the reflections but it's very difficult to introduce new concepts.

I didn't learn cursive in the same way as my son did and it was never enforced. So I don't always write cursive. My handwriting is atrocious. Teacher said it was like someone spilled ink on the page and a spider walked across it. I don't really see that it matters but it is part of the current school's expectations. Kids get a pen licence here when their writing is good enough they can switch from pencil to pen in class. Which I find strange because pen writes very differently to pencil and actually it is like learning to write all over again because you have to hold a pen at a different angle to pencil which changes the whole dynamic.

ETA: I'm Scottish. So the education system I grew up with is different to what my kids are doing.

Edit:

Skimmed the link. I do not believe that cursive allows for autonomous writing. I wish it did. In my mind I visualise that it could be but my son struggles. He finds writing boring and it takes up so much of his thoughts that he doesn't get the work done and loses break time. I try to explain to him that the more he does it the more it will become muscle memory and then he can stop over thinking it.

However, my point is that in practice, from my perspective, it isn't that cursive allows for more automatic writing, because if you are used to print writing it can become automatic too. I think the difference I'm pathways is in my non-educated opinion, probably because with cursive you have to think out the full word rather than just writing the letter if you haven't reached that automatic muscle memory stage yet.

I find myself often doodling and what I tend to doodle is nursery rhymes over and over because I'm practicing cursive writing even at my age. It relaxes me to challenge myself to write neater and neater with each rhyme. It doesn't stay neat. There is a sort of flowyness to cursive that isn't there with print.

I think any writing practice will help with learning to read and spell. I don't think cursive will help people read any faster than print because I think to write a word in cursive you need to think ahead which means you need to already be able to recall the word correctly. You have less time to pause and think about what letter comes next. So actually, I think to be confident in cursive, you need to be confident in reading first.

But that's just my thoughts and opinion. I'm sure professors who have studied these things will know better than my thought experiments.
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Re: Poll: Cursive Writing

Post by Physics Guy »

I've never had good handwriting. I went to school in England for the year I turned eleven and one occasional class was handwriting. They probably called it "penmanship" then. I was set to copy some lines in one particular style of handwriting. That style was only chosen as an exercise; I think the idea was that we should get good enough at pen control to be able to write in many styles and then develop our own style. We only had that class a couple of times, though, so that one random style was the only style of handwriting that I ever tried to follow and it became my style. It was horrible. My f's and t's and l's and I's were hard to distinguish from each other and nobody ever knew what I was trying to represent with an r or an s.

For a while my handwriting was merely poor, with aspirations to mediocrity, but then came thirty years of doing very little handwriting and my script degenerated into squiggles.

Now I have an iPad and I write a lot of equations on it by hand with the Apple Pen. That works well—it's my iPad's unexpected killer app—but every now and then I feel the need to annotate my equations with some comments in prose, and since I have the pen in my hand I try to write them in cursive instead of typing them. I can kind of read my comments, myself, but from an objective viewpoint they are still chaotic squiggles.

Handwriting evolved over time even without my incompetence. One of our children's old-school teachers once sent round a short text in traditional German handwriting, as a curiosity. I deciphered it as an exercise in cryptology, never forming any recognition of the graphical units as characters in the Roman alphabet.

My nieces and nephews in Canada have never learned cursive writing in school. It's a dead subject. Hieroglyphics are sitting it down and buying it beer in the afterlife bar for dead writing systems. Shorthand is smiling comfortingly with a round of chasers.
I was a teenager before it was cool.
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IWMP
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Re: Poll: Cursive Writing

Post by IWMP »

Physics Guy wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 7:37 pm
I've never had good handwriting. I went to school in England for the year I turned eleven and one occasional class was handwriting. They probably called it "penmanship" then. I was set to copy some lines in one particular style of handwriting. That style was only chosen as an exercise; I think the idea was that we should get good enough at pen control to be able to write in many styles and then develop our own style. We only had that class a couple of times, though, so that one random style was the only style of handwriting that I ever tried to follow and it became my style. It was horrible. My f's and t's and l's and I's were hard to distinguish from each other and nobody ever knew what I was trying to represent with an r or an s.

For a while my handwriting was merely poor, with aspirations to mediocrity, but then came thirty years of doing very little handwriting and my script degenerated into squiggles.

Now I have an iPad and I write a lot of equations on it by hand with the Apple Pen. That works well—it's my iPad's unexpected killer app—but every now and then I feel the need to annotate my equations with some comments in prose, and since I have the pen in my hand I try to write them in cursive instead of typing them. I can kind of read my comments, myself, but from an objective viewpoint they are still chaotic squiggles.

Handwriting evolved over time even without my incompetence. One of our children's old-school teachers once sent round a short text in traditional German handwriting, as a curiosity. I deciphered it as an exercise in cryptology, never forming any recognition of the graphical units as characters in the Roman alphabet.

My nieces and nephews in Canada have never learned cursive writing in school. It's a dead subject. Hieroglyphics are sitting it down and buying it beer in the afterlife bar for dead writing systems. Shorthand is smiling comfortingly with a round of chasers.
:lol:
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Re: Poll: Cursive Writing

Post by yellowstone123 »

Once we had a chance to use block writing in Elementary school I quickly went for it. Now in my 60s I find when I use cursive writing it looks like where I left off in elementary school. If you saw checks or letters my parents wrote it was small in cursive and every letter was very clear. If I’m signing a goverment documents - a driver’s license, I go back to elementary school cursive. In a doctor's office I might use the first and last letter of my first and last name. It caused a lot of humor for my parents.

But in my main job I worked in emergency situations so all my notes were in block writing.

As to how it affects the brain, it’s slow and I can feel parts of my frontal cortex moving when I write that way.
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Re: Poll: Cursive Writing

Post by Jersey Girl »

High Spy wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2024 5:07 pm
I was watching Reuters Afternoon News this morning and there was a segment about cursive handwriting being taught in public school. One expert mentioned its effect on the brain. What are your experience and thoughts about connected writing?
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20240122-california-signs-cursive-writing-into-law-what-are-the-brain-benefits wrote:Cursive writing is still widely taught in Western Europe. Spain, Italy, Portugal, and France have held onto the tradition. And in the UK, joined-up handwriting is still taught in English classrooms. The UK government’s Ofsted research review states that "the national curriculum requires children to learn unjoined handwriting before they 'start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters'".
Just off the top of what's left of my head, I would say that learning to write both printing and cursive would hold the same impact to a person's brain as learning two languages.

I started cursive (not D'nealian) in 3rd grade. I can write in print, cursive, and some calligraphy alphabets. I can change my cursive styles when I feel like it.

I can write upside down and also read upside down print as well as mirror writing. Skills of the trade as it were. ;-) It's not difficult to read upside down or mirror writing. Your brain will typically register all the characters and words as if you were reading normal print.
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