State Sen. Pam Roach’s attempt to mandate cursive writing to the Washington state curriculum (SB 6469) failed because of lack of interest from other legislators [“Cursive is a dying art, and state lawmaker gets nowhere with attempt to revive it,” Local News, Feb. 7].
As a former third- and fourth-grade teacher, I remember the joy on children’s faces when they discovered that they could write like mom and dad. Students took pride in forming the graceful slants and curves in cursive writing — almost like drawing. It rarely took more than 10 minutes a day for several months for them to acquire this skill, and by the end fourth grade, the students were proficient. Printing, cursive and typing all use slightly different motor skills, which is good for brain development and small motor skills.
Something is lost when cursive writing is abandoned. Besides losing the unique identifiable quality of the individual’s handwriting, we also lose the ability to read original documents as they were first written. John Hancock’s large signature on the Declaration of Independence, indicating his willingness to die, makes an impact. Would a digitized version have the same power? Would love letters like those between John Adams and his wife, Abigail, or between Napoleon and Josephine, be as powerful? Seeing the handwriting connects us personally to the writer.
If cursive writing is no longer needed in this digital age, then why do we need printing and keyboarding as well? Let’s let Siri do our typing and our thumbprints replace our signatures. I won’t even mention retinal identification.
Dorothy Kimble, Port Ludlow