Why I Don't Give A Sh*t About My Child Learning Cursive Writing

by Joelle Wisler

As an adult, I often use cursive writing when I sign my name on a receipt and also when…nope, I guess it’s just when signing my name on a receipt. That’s it. But I’ve also heard that knowing cursive writing is super important for reading the Declaration of Independence in its original form. But I figure that’s why the internet and keyboards and the Helvetica font were invented.

I remember the second-grade torture that was learning cursive writing in the first place. I grew up in the wonderful and weird age of D’Nealian writing, so it’s almost like I had the pleasure of learning it twice. I’ve read that physically writing things down uses different parts of our brains, and that’s all great, but science says it doesn’t matter if it’s printing or cursive. And in my world, science still exists, despite what our current government says.

So maybe there are calligraphers out there who might call me a monster, but there are lots of things I’d rather my child do during their precious school hours than learn how to write in cursive.

Here are just a few of them:

1. Writing legibly in print. Let’s just slow down and make sure the regular stuff can be read first. And if my fourth-grader is any indicator, we’ve got some serious work to do on spelling too. I swear on my buttery-soft LuLaRoe leggings that I will never send a human out into the world who doesn’t know the correct times to use their, they’re, and there.

2. Running their ass off so that when they come home from school, they are actually tired. Tired kids make me happy. They eat their dinner without making gagging noises, and they go to bed without me threatening to issue restraining orders. They don’t backtalk as much about their screen time, and they don’t have as strong of an urge to wrestle their siblings into oblivion. Run them ragged, school people.

3. Learning how to meditate. Otherwise known as calming the fuck down. Okay, sorry about that. I just spent the weekend in a car with my kids, and I might need to be doing some meditating of my own.

4. Creating “art.” Go ahead and let them dive into those paint bins stark naked for all I care. Just do all the messy stuff in school so I don’t have to clean glittery-goo drippings off the walls and sweep play-dough crumbles times infinity.

5. Practicing the recorder so I’m not forced to listen to the cries of a thousand tortured souls coming from my daughter’s room every night at dinnertime.

6. Working on their science project at school. You know, without hours of my help, blood, sweat, and curse words. Can we make this a thing?

7. Figuring out how friends and relationships work so that they will go away some day and live with someone else.

8. Learning about history, so you know, we don’t *cough cough* repeat it.

9. Writing down all those random stories that I keep hearing about because there are a lot of words being said. So many words. They could probably write down their stories for hours at a time with all of the talking that is happening around here.

10. And, if they never learn cursive, it will be way harder to forge my signature in high school. I call this #winning.

So, yes, there are lots of things I think are more important than learning cursive writing. (I know cursive is supposed to be helpful with kids who aren’t typical learners or who have dyslexia, so there are tangible reasons to utilize it in certain situations.)

Let’s all CTFD about cursive and steer our kids toward working on things that are more important, like physical exercise, art, and music. Kthanks.