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Cursive in high school

Language Arts | Writing 


Senior Member

I have struggled with this as a fifth grade teacher . . . I really think that the ability to use cursive developed fine motor movement skills and leads to faster, more functional handwriting in the future. Most of us develop handwriting that is our own mix of cursive and manuscript and it serves us well. Can't do that if you don't know cursive. But when to teach and reinforce it?


Senior Member
I also teach third grade and have taught cursive for the past 19 years. Unfortunately, when they get to 5th and beyond (middle school here in my town) teachers FORBID it, so I am constantly frustrated as to why I'm teaching it in the first place.

I had no idea it was required on any assessments! I would guess that those who forbid students to write in cursive don't know it either.

Just another example of the real breakdown in communication between the grade levels. . .

Ruby tunes

Senior Member
Cursive on You Tube?

Does anyone know of a link to a YouTube video on how to teach cursive? Is there such a thing? If so, it would be a big help to those who want to reinforce cursive at home, and do it correctly.


Full Member
I have seen the same thing

While teaching in middle school I saw the same problems with students not being able to read my cursive. But I explicitly taught it to my 3rd graders as a warm up when coming back from recess for 10-15 min. Then it was reinforced during center time. The students enjoyed it and they were proud to write a paragraph in cursive. This year in 4th I plan to do it again. In 6th grade there was no time for cursive lessons. Most writings were typed anyways. Cursive is still important to teach but with the importance of keyboarding and the shortness of time, it is not as important in the upper grades. But if it is not taught we will continue to see very sloppy handwriting and illegible papers in the future.:(


Full Member
For a test or for life?

You know when it all comes down to why we teach, are we teaching them only what they will see on a test or what they need for life? Somehow as educators, I feel we need to do both, in a creative way. Yes, they will learn keyboarding but perhaps for other assignments we ask for cursive.


Senior Member
Now I'm curious: As an adult, when do you write in cursive?

The only time for me is when I am sending a personal note (like a thank you) to someone. Otherwise, I type everything. Business correspondence, e-mails, posts on proteacher. If I need to leave a note for a family member, I scribble it on a post-it. I don't write it in cursive.

In college (and this was 20 years ago now), I never wrote anything by hand. All my essays and reports were typed. Weren't yours?

So, when do you use cursive in your daily life?


Full Member
Opposite Problem

I came from a standard public school setting where we learned cursive in 3rd grade and it was mandatory on school assignments through 6th. My left-handed self reverted back to printing as soon as it was allowed, and I still remain jealous of those with beautiful flowing script, but the only time I write in cursive is my essentially illegible signature.

This year I'm teaching a K/2 split at a small private school that uses ABEKA, and they slide right into cursive at the preschool level. Kids' first experiences with writing are in cursive. No printing. I requested and received permission from administration to teach print for my kinders for the first semester, then ease them into cursive if they're ready after Christmas break. I had these 2nd graders last year when they were firsties, and I taught cursive, but they were still allowed to print all of their assignments other than those specifically used for handwriting practice.


Senior Member
I learned it starting in 2nd grade, and I prefer to write in cursive. I also teach in an ABeka school, but we use the manuscript version of the curriculum in preschool and kindergarten, start introducing cursive in kindergarten, and really teach it starting in 1st. I teach 3rd, and our public school system here does not teach cursive at all except for some individual teachers, so any transfer students into my private school classroom have to be taught from scratch.


Senior Member
Off track a little

are we teaching them only what they will see on a test or what they need for life

And this is why I am so frustrated/annoyed- at least to me Education is no longer the later, it's what they will see on the test.

As for the topic at hand- I still see it both ways. I both love and hate cursive as a teacher because again I am left handed and unless I go REALLY slow (like when I am teaching it LOL) it's messy for me. But I have seen some students who can do better cursive than print....This past year I had some boys who could do cursive faster and neater. It was immaculate too- I was VERY jealous of their cursive LOL And as PP stated there are historical documents that are in cursive....


Senior Member
Raising my hand

What adult with a university degree prints?

Ummm...me. :o I have taught kinder and first for the past 12 years so I RARELY ever write anything in cursive. It's become second nature for me to print because that's what I do all day, every day, for 180 days a year. I do however have excellent penmanship and can form every letter to perfection.

I can write in cursive. I just don't.


Junior Member
I wish I could...

I wish I could teach cursive, but like some others have stated, I do NOT have the time! I only have 90 minutes for all of ELA (5th grade) and struggle to get everything in as it is. My cursive is not great, and I prefer to write in print, but I would like my students to learn it for historical documents and such. But it is just not possible in the time I have. I suppose I could send it home for homework... but I would rather they read. :D


Senior Member
My dd recently took the SAT and cursive wasn't required. It wasn't that long ago I took the PRAXIS and I don't remember cursive being a part of it.

I do think we should teach it, if only to give people options when writing. Some people prefer to print, some write cursive, and some do a combination. Keyboarding seems more important when we look around and see how often we use it compared to handwriting things, but we still need to be able to write.


Senior Member
Not taught in my district

Some of our MS students say that cursive is now a secret teacher writing system (funny kids!)

My concern is that CC suggests students read primary documents, many are written in cursive.



Senior Member

I have been teaching for more than 20 years. I am a proud dinosaur! I have always held that learning to write in cursive is an important part of the educational puzzle. This past year I was teaching with a new principal who is not a fan of cursive. She is so against it, she forbade me to have cursive practice as part of my daily warm-ups. I stopped the practice sheets :confused: but continued to require all the work done in class and for homework to be done in cursive.
At conference time three sets of parents commented on their sons use of cursive. Two of the boys were southpaws who had never been required to use cursive. (Although I am a right-hander, I have taught all children cursive. I reviewed the proper grips and positions with the students and all but one in the class of 32 used cursive fluently.) Anyway, at the conference all three sets of parents made a point of thanking me for requiring their students to use cursive. The two boys also told me that they found cursive much faster and it allowed them to take class notes more easily.
I know that when my students move on to other classes, most teachers will not enforce the cursive. I have to be satisfied that I am doing my part to give these children the opportunity to use both cursive and manuscript in their future.


Full Member

I am a 7th grade ELA teacher, and last year there were several kids who could not read cursive. AT ALL. When they switched papers, I had to do an extra switch around to find those who COULD read cursive.

On top of that ..... you would think that the cursive was replaced by keyboarding skills. That would be false. They are not good typers either; the kids spend most of their time typing on their phones or hunt-and-pecking on the computer.



Senior Member

For those of you who are wondering, before you start the PSAT or SAT, students have to copy a sentence in cursive that basically says that you are you and you won't cheat than you have to sign your name at the bottom. Most kids struggle with is for the reasons mentioned in the post and the fact that their cursive is spaced out so it doesn't all fit in the box.

For this upcoming year, I am requesting that the English department introduce cursive (probably a worksheet for homework), before the PSAT, which is in October and for English 3 and AP English Language Composition teachers, do the same thing before the SAT in February (I think). P.S. My county pays for 9th and 10th graders to take the PSAT in October and the 11th graders take it February. The PSAT scores are used along with FCAT and EOC scores to determine class placement for the next year.


Senior Member
SMART Board and Cursive

I am a fourth grade teacher who tries to fit cursive in. Like many previous posters I believe it is important because students need to be able to read it. I would like to find more time to instruct it or get students to be more independent cursive writers. The SMART Board is a new tool in our classrooms, are there any SMART Board options for teaching cursive? I thought the students might like an end-of-day opportunity to use the new SMART Boards to practice cursive. I'd love to hear back from teachers who have done something like this. Thank you.

desert flower

Senior Member
This is a touchy subject for me. My third grade level has always taken the time to teach cursive. Normally, all but a few end up writing beautifully. My problem is that the grades after third do not require students to write i cursive, therefore, it falls by the wayside for many student. I pushed this issue really hard with higher ups, but curriculun director said that students should be required to use cursive on major papers, but optional otherwise. Yeah...
Ok. :mad: