For most of third grade, my son begged me to teach him cursive writing. It’s no longer part of the state curriculum and I feel it’s a skill that shouldn’t be tossed aside just yet. Even with the advancement of technology, people should still be able to sign their names on documents, unique signatures that no one else in the world has. And cursive writing just looks so much better, so formal. It should never become a lost art that people have to ask their grandparents how to do.
I told my son I’d teach him the loops and curves of cursive this summer when we had time to sit down and practice and enjoy it.
It’s summer. My daughter, who will enter second grade in the fall, wanted to learn to write her name in cursive too. So we began our lesson the other day with much excitement. I have vivid memories of practicing letters daily in my third-grade class to precision. And because I’m a lefty, I had to turn my paper a different way from everyone else. Since I would be teaching, I could forgo the idiotic paper slant and concentrate on the basic script.
The kids watched as I formed a cursive a. Both formed theirs with ease. A few letters later I demonstrated how to join letters to form words. I glanced at my son’s paper, shocked to see that he had already moved on to write the rest of the alphabet without me, using our guide as a reference. Some of them weren’t right. I had lost control over one of my students and I’m not sure where I went wrong. I taught my daughter how to write her name. My son wrote his and I pointed out a few errors. Things were getting tense around the table and he tried again.
“Let me show you how to do an r,” I said. “And an n shouldn’t have a straight line.” I tried to demonstrate.
“I just want to learn to write my name!” he yelled as he tried and tried again, determined not to watch any of my examples.
“Well, that’s what I’m trying to show you. You asked me to teach you.”
He said he was right and then he cried because I wouldn’t help him. I was ambushed by homework flashbacks, a killer mood swing, and possible hormones. The lesson needed to end.
When he showed my husband his cursive writing later, my husband bluntly said, “Your n isn’t right. It shouldn’t have that line. It looks like an m.” My son suppressed a grin and tried not to look at me.
Validation. Sort of.
If for no other reason than the sanity of moms, this is why they should still teach cursive writing in school.