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View Full Version : how important is cursive at 8?



Tracey
06-29-2009, 11:11 AM
My 8-year-old dd was in tears this morning over cursive handwriting. We have A reason for Handwriting and she asked to work in it this morning and the next thing I knew she was scribbling out the pages and crying.

Julie in AZ
06-29-2009, 11:36 AM
Not very. I'm only doing cursive with my 10 year old now because he may have to read it in Community Bible Study this year. My dd is tagging along but if she gets frustrated I'll wait until 5th grade for her too.

Tricia O
06-29-2009, 11:41 AM
Makes me feel better because we only introduced cursive minimally last year. I think my oldest daughter (who was 9 in March) can read it now, and write the letters, but has only written a few words thus far.

Jeni
06-29-2009, 11:45 AM
Just like everything else, if it's causing real tears and not "I'd-rather-be-doing-just-about-anything-else" tantrums, put it away for a few weeks or months and try again. If cursive really isn't her thing, then she should at least be able to read it and sign her name. That's all I require of my kids. My dd writes in cursive because she prefers it. My oldest ds writes a combination of print, cursive and italic :unsure:, a bit odd at times but I allow it as long as it is legible. ;)

Denise H
06-29-2009, 12:01 PM
I agree with Jeni. At age 8, I think you still have plenty of time for cursive later.

For what it's worth, we used A Reason for Handwriting with my oldest ds, with similar results. We ended up switching to Handwriting Without Tears, which worked much better. The cursive is much more simple, and less loopy and fancy.

Mary FL
06-29-2009, 12:03 PM
My dd just turned 9 and we just introduced it in January. We haven't been doing cursive much at all. :blush: Glad to know I'm not the only one.

Rachel
06-29-2009, 12:11 PM
My twins will be 8 in 6 months and I have no plan at all to introduce cursive. We are still working on making our printing look legible and nice. They are doing fine there and I have much bigger fish to fry right now.

Tracey
06-29-2009, 12:26 PM
GREAT HELP!!!! This is what I was hoping to hear. She really only wanted to learn as her sister (10) is doing cursive. She can sign her name and she can read most of the letters in cursive even in word form so I do believe that is enough for now. Maybe we can use one of those wipe off charts and she can play around with the letters in a more fun way.

Robin(CA)
06-29-2009, 01:20 PM
I didn't do cursive with ds until 4th grade and that's because he requested it. I will wait at least that long with ds 2.

ETA: I guess I don't think it's important because I don't use cursive much as an adult. I think it's an important skill to be able to READ cursive and to be able to sign your name in cursive ;) but beyond that, everyone develops their own individual handwriting style as an adult. In this generation, knowing how to type fast and accurately is a much more important skill than having nice cursive.

Alice R
06-29-2009, 01:34 PM
My son is going to be 11 and heading into 6th.

We are working on good printing. Cursive will come when he is ready.

I would totally not worry. :no:

Tracey
06-29-2009, 02:17 PM
Thanks! I never write in cursive. I kind of blend it together.

LillianD
06-29-2009, 04:23 PM
We tried it in 3rd (just finished up 3rd grade a few days ago) and my son was NOT ready for it at all. Might try in 4th, might give it another year. I do think it's important that they learn it, but the fantastic thing about homeschool is that it doesn't need to be done until the child is ready.

Gwen in Texas
06-29-2009, 05:03 PM
I don't know how important cursive is for an 8yo, but I do know cursive is very good for our brains! I always printed until I learned how important it is this year. Now I try to write cursive for everything.

KristenS
06-29-2009, 06:12 PM
We're waiting till third, but if it turns out to be a bad fit, we'll go back and wait. I'm not a big fan of cursive personally anyway (I always print) but I do think it a useful life skill.

I mentioned it to my son at the end of this first grade year, and he glanced at a workbook, and is already worried about it. He wants me to give him practice work this year so he'll be ready in third. :lol: I reassured him that third grade WAS the practice work, and not to worry, we won't do it till he's ready.

Rachel Jane
06-29-2009, 06:13 PM
I don't know how important cursive is for an 8yo, but I do know cursive is very good for our brains! I always printed until I learned how important it is this year. Now I try to write cursive for everything.

Elaborate please?

Kendra AU
06-29-2009, 08:16 PM
I have to force myself to print so my kids can read it, but I'm not teaching my 8 year old cursive (thus why I'm reading this thread). As a lefty his manual script took time to become neat, and I'm not going to start teaching a new way yet.. all though he's eager.. Want a good laugh though?

My nice (5 days older then my 8 year old) is learning cursive. So she wrote something and showed him via Skype. He said, "What's that?" She said, "Cursive." He said, "Huh?" Gram steps up to the computer and says, "She said, cursive, it's spelling her name with fancy writing."

He looks at me and says, "Wow, Mom, now I know what you're always doing. Scribble!" :roflol:

Kendra

Tracey
06-29-2009, 08:35 PM
I have to force myself to print so my kids can read it, but I'm not teaching my 8 year old cursive (thus why I'm reading this thread). As a lefty his manual script took time to become neat, and I'm not going to start teaching a new way yet.. all though he's eager.. Want a good laugh though?

My nice (5 days older then my 8 year old) is learning cursive. So she wrote something and showed him via Skype. He said, "What's that?" She said, "Cursive." He said, "Huh?" Gram steps up to the computer and says, "She said, cursive, it's spelling her name with fancy writing."

He looks at me and says, "Wow, Mom, now I know what you're always doing. Scribble!" :roflol:

Kendra

I always to try write neatly too so dc can read it, otherwise I am a sloppy writer. My dd is also left handed, and she only writes well when she tries really hard to do so. This has been a good thread as it seems there are many of us in the same boat on this one.

Gwen in Texas
06-29-2009, 10:04 PM
Elaborate please?

Well, here's a blurb.

Cursive improves the dynamic interplay of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The physiological benefits of the release and control (up and down) movements of cursive help build pathways in the brain while improving mental effectiveness.


If you want research, I can ask my educational therapist. :)

Carol S
06-29-2009, 10:45 PM
I tend to be easily persuaded by the camp that would ask "Is manuscript important at any age?"

But even if I do think cursive first is a good idea, I would sure not make it a big deal. If it's bringing an 8 yo to tears, wait.

Robin H in VA
06-29-2009, 10:51 PM
Their suppose to be doing cursive at 8? :eek: Wow, ds just began writing in manuscript and he still has a ways to go before cursive.

I don't even remember my olders doing cursive at 8 in public school. :unsure: I thought they were more like 10 or 11.

Kendra AU
06-29-2009, 11:27 PM
I always to try write neatly too so dc can read it, otherwise I am a sloppy writer. My dd is also left handed, and she only writes well when she tries really hard to do so. This has been a good thread as it seems there are many of us in the same boat on this one.

Thing is Ds8 has been writing since he was 2ish. He'd ask us how to write a letter a or h or.. So i printed out a traceable alphabet for him. When I remind him to do his BEST work he's AWESOME. For instance, I thought his handwriting was slipping from lack of use so I pulled out some handwriting papers that are copywork of Bible verses.

I explained that he only had to do x amount of the verse a day. I reminded him to skip a space between words. His paper is BEAUTIFUL. He had a bit of writing in his math journal today. I was left :eek: ! Thing is it's his journal, and unless mathematically it's wrong I won't correct it because it's a personal part of him, if that makes sense.

As for his leftiness He really can write beautifully if he chooses, and it was proven today with that handwriting paper. Which means I might just have him practice with writing letters to relatives from afar.. ;) I'll also say that due to his leftiness he watches me write, but on the other side of the table. Then he can mimic it far better then if I sit next to him. I'm blessed to have many lefties in the family (inlaws) so it helps to keep me level in how I teach him certain things. :D

Kendra

Sasha
06-29-2009, 11:53 PM
Their suppose to be doing cursive at 8? :eek: Wow, ds just began writing in manuscript and he still has a ways to go before cursive.

I don't even remember my olders doing cursive at 8 in public school. :unsure: I thought they were more like 10 or 11.

I remember starting in school at eight.
I always write cursive, printing is too sloooowwww :lol:, so I plan on teaching my kids for the option and also so that they can read cursive.

molly in cr
06-30-2009, 12:20 AM
My daughter just taught herself cursive this year. (Yes, that was 10th grade).

Tracey
06-30-2009, 08:54 AM
Thanks again for all the answers. I think we will just hold off on this as a serious topic and if she wants to play around with it for fun we will do that. She prints very well so I did not think this would not be so hard for her.

AmyinWI
06-30-2009, 01:45 PM
fwiw- my 13yo ds has learned cursive, but NEVER uses it in his writing- he really hates cursive ( my dh never writes in cursive either, must be hereditary)

my 10 yo dd just learned cursive last year,and had a hard time wiht it,too. she never uses it in her writing either. I'm not sure if I should be pushing it more or not.

Kendall in GA
06-30-2009, 02:25 PM
I tend to be easily persuaded by the camp that would ask "Is manuscript important at any age?"



Absolutely! It is harmless/quick to learn and it does crop up in our lives from time to time. IMO, whether one learns at 8, 10 or 12 everyone needs to know how to at least read cursive.

Tracey
06-30-2009, 03:19 PM
Absolutely! It is harmless/quick to learn and it does crop up in our lives from time to time. IMO, whether one learns at 8, 10 or 12 everyone needs to know how to at least read cursive.

I do agree with being able to read cursive and I think we can manage that one with no problem.

Shelly L
06-30-2009, 03:23 PM
I have always felt that legible handwriting is very important. I started my daughter on cursive in 3rd grade because she asked, and because it seemed to be what "other" 3rd graders were doing. She does fairly well, but I have to say we haven't kept up like I would like (my bad.) I plan to gradually work it back in at late summer or fall. In the meantime, I feel she needs some improvement on her manuscript, so I would like to see that improving before we go hard at the cursive.

I think if they are interested, go for it. If not, wait -- but I agree with including it a SOME point and encouraging it to be done well. I think our handwriting says a lot about us and our desire to communicate clearly to others. Just my opinion -- no flaming please! :)

I do know a mom who taught cursive first and boy, do her kids have beautiful handwriting! I think it's good if kids can learn both forms of writing, but it won't happen the same way for every child, and from what was said on this thread, I'm encouraged that I didn't fail my daughter, since she didn't 'master' it at 8! :) Like everything else -- work with the child and dont make them 'hate' it in the long run.

FWIW,

SHelly L.

Gwen in Texas
06-30-2009, 03:50 PM
A few more thoughts from a cognitive development perspective. :)

Writing in cursive helps to:

*improve visual-motor integration
*establish hemispheric specialization for language (makes your brain work better!)
*develop the ability to do intermodal tasks
*develop sensory integration
*improve directionality (that whole left-to-right thing is so important, not to mention the elimination of letter reversals)

Carol S
06-30-2009, 06:09 PM
Just for the record, when I said "Is manuscript important at any age?" I meant print, not cursive. I tend to think generations of children, including me, would have been better off if educators hadn't ever introduced ball-and-stick and gone with cursive first, which was the practice of earlier centuries. Cursive important, ball-and-stick not so much.

KristenS
07-01-2009, 09:17 AM
Huh. So I'm clutzy and directionally challenged because I don't use cursive. :lol:

It was my one consistently poor grade in school and I ditched it as soon as it wasn't required any more.

(Yes, I will teach it ... and I suppose re-learn it ... but I am very much irritated by it. It looks like print that got sloppy to me, all those letters tied together instead of standing proudly by themselves...)

I am a certified weirdo though. :D And I'd never heard all those 'developmental benefits', so that's certainly something to think about.

Tracey
07-01-2009, 01:54 PM
Huh. So I'm clutzy and directionally challenged because I don't use cursive. :lol:

It was my one consistently poor grade in school and I ditched it as soon as it wasn't required any more.

(Yes, I will teach it ... and I suppose re-learn it ... but I am very much irritated by it. It looks like print that got sloppy to me, all those letters tied together instead of standing proudly by themselves...)

I am a certified weirdo though. :D And I'd never heard all those 'developmental benefits', so that's certainly something to think about.

This is funny!:)

Melissa in Indy
07-01-2009, 07:40 PM
we taught our 2 kids when they were 8-9yrs old. I learned cursive at the same age in public school so many long years ago and i turned out okay. At the same time, we are truly blessed because meltdowns are few and far between with the boys. Our biggest problems are neatness and legibility. But it is better than mine....

Gwen in Texas
07-01-2009, 09:17 PM
This is funny!:)

I seriously do write cursive on the board or do an activity called rhythmic writing when I need to focus my thinking or be especially sharp or to settle myself down when stressed.

Tracey
07-01-2009, 09:40 PM
I seriously do write cursive on the board or do an activity called rhythmic writing when I need to focus my thinking or be especially sharp or to settle myself down when stressed.

Gwen, when I said this is funny I meant the response that Kristen gave. It was just funny to me.

Shelly L
07-01-2009, 11:03 PM
Along the 'therapy' lines, I love it when my cursive handwriting seems to 'go well,' if you know what I mean. I love writing letters in cursive, and it is kind of... well... therapeutic. Conversely, have any of you ever noticed that your handwriting doesn't look as well or flow as well when it's 'that time of the month?' Seems that way for me almost every time! Go figure!

KristenS
07-02-2009, 09:41 AM
Oh, I didn't mean to pick at the theory. It would totally make sense with me and my chaotic brain. :) I do find just plain writing therapeutic at times, even though I only print.

I just think it's hilarious, because I was very klutzky growing up (still can be) and went on a cursive strike as soon as possible. :)

Robin H in VA
07-02-2009, 09:50 AM
The only cursive I ever do is signing my name. I hate cursive writing, but everyone says I have beautiful handwriting either way I write.

I guess to me it is like the pencil vs pen - I can write so much clearer with a pencil than I can with a pen and when I use a pen, I feel like I am lost. :unsure: The same way I feel when I write in cursive. Maybe my brain is just wired wrong. :lol:

Jo in PRC
07-02-2009, 11:01 AM
Anna's therapists recommended that we start cursive early because they felt it would be easier for her...and it is! :lol: She can write so much faster in cursive and it helps her calm down (;)like Gwen). I've really had to brush up on my cursive now...

Rachael
07-02-2009, 01:11 PM
I recommend playing the piano for whole-brain activity, LOL.

I too hate cursive. I hated it in school (taught in 2nd grade), and I hate it now. Although, handwriting has never been my forte. It was the only C on my report card in first grade. I guess I missed my true and natural calling as a doctor, LOL.

I started teaching my kids cursive when they were 10 and 11. Their printing has always been horrible too. But unlike me, their cursive is really neat and nice. I think it's because we waited until they were older and more capable and motivated to learn it. They prefer to write in cursive. I will wait until late to teach my youngest cursive too.

Tracey
07-02-2009, 01:32 PM
Thanks for all of these responses. When I posted this I had no idea this many of you would respond. I think this may have help a few of us either way. :)