So Long Cursive Writing? A Critical Part of America’s Education

Written by R.G. Yoho on September 23, 2013

When it comes to the matter of educating children, the state of Ohio and the federal government are run by a host of blithering idiots.

It was over a year ago that I learned the state of Ohio will no longer be teaching cursive writing in their classrooms.

Upon first learning of the announcement, I foolishly believed that the state’s educators might eventually return to their collective senses and re-institute the teaching of this critical skill.

However, that was before I also learned about Common Core and its obvious goal to make all of our children equally and verifiably stupid.

Certainly much more can be said and written in the condemnation of Common Core, but that is a subject for another time.

Now I wish only to discuss the topic of cursive writing.

The computer age has clearly altered the landscape in regards to how we communicate with our friends, business associates, and loved ones.

Texts and e-mails, entered into a keyboard or touchpad, have largely done away with most other forms of hand-written communication.

Moreover, there will certainly be a large and vocal group of people in our society who no longer wish to write by hand, either by printing or in cursive form.

Yet despite that fact, cursive writing should forever maintain a prominent place in elementary and secondary education.

Perhaps the greatest example and most compelling reason to teach cursive writing to our students is the fact that it was the form used in so many of America’s Founding documents.

(And sadly, I fear that may also be the reason why it is being so readily abandoned.)

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Mayflower Compact, and numbers of other foundational documents were written by hand.

The Declaration of Independence was written by the hand of Thomas Jefferson, a flowing and beautiful form of penmanship that not only spelled out our rights as citizens; it challenged an empire and inspired a world.

Without the knowledge of cursive writing, our children will not be able to read John Hancock’s signature or fully understand its significance, a signature written by the man with a proud flamboyance, large enough so that King George could read it without his spectacles, a signature than could have led to him being hanged as a traitor.

Without cursive writing, our children cannot see the beauty of the first three words of our Constitution, written by the hand of James Madison, three words set apart larger than the rest, “We the People.”

Those three simple words are what separated our country from every other nation that ever existed and instilled the United States with a rare and exceptional greatness unknown in the annals of human history.

Another reason for the teaching of cursive writing is the ability it gives us to read old journals and communications from our past.

And personally, I find it disturbing that without the skill to read cursive writing, my living grandchildren and those yet to be born might not be able to read the few journals that I have written to them.

Even though the skill is no longer society’s most dominant form of communication, cursive writing is still a critical educational skill.

There is perhaps nothing as beautiful, elegant, or as eye-catching as seeing a hand-written address on the front of a letter.

Receiving such a letter in your mailbox instantly commands your attention and will generally result in it immediately being torn open and read.

There is nothing more special or intimate than the personal letter written in longhand.

Traditionally, hand-written letters have long been associated with the act of courting, the private and personal thoughts and feelings of the heart written on paper and shared with someone else.

Those who received these hand-written letters at a far-away college or on a distant battlefield treasure them, keep them, and often read them over and over.

Often, these letters become treasured family heirlooms, passed along to the children and grandchildren that often resulted from these unions, cultivated and preserved by the mighty power of the pen.

I first learned the beauty of writing from my late mother, whose great flair with a pen I consciously tried to emulate as a child.

I often practiced writing in my mother’s beautiful, elegant, and flowing style, until I eventually learned to do it myself. And to this day, people often comment on the neatness of my handwriting, in both the printed and cursive forms.

Perhaps it is also a means of keeping her with me.

Cursive writing is a form of communication that society needs to foster and maintain. It holds a critical role in our education. It allows us to fully know and understand our history.

Perhaps most of all, cursive writing lends an intimacy, a beauty, and an elegance to our communications that a text or e-mail can never match.

Image: Constitution_Pg1of4_AC.jpg: Constitutional Convention; derivative work: Bluszczokrzew; public domain; copyright expired

R.G. Yoho is a Western author who has published seven books, including “Death Comes to Redhawk,” along with a non-fiction work entitled “America’s History is His Story.”