Author Topic: Learning cursive  (Read 1090 times)

ysette9

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Learning cursive
« on: May 28, 2020, 04:31:00 PM »
I should have started this thread weeks ago now I realize. Be that as it may. Iíll use this as a way to document progress and keep myself honest.

I skipped fourth grade. Fourth grade was the year everyone learned cursive and had to write exclusively in it. As a result, I can barely sign my name and struggle mightily to read cursive. Now that my kid is learning to read and write (and we are following French curriculum books that emphasizes cursive), I have decided now is the time for me to lick up this skill.

Iíve started a workbook that is for ages 6-8. Tee hee.


Here is my work this afternoon. Iím pretty pleased with my progress so far.

Is there anyone else out there aside from me who never picked up this skill?

Sanitary Engineer

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2020, 05:26:06 PM »
I never learned cursive.  I do remember 6th grade I changed schools and had to complete some early lessons as a refresher on cursive.  I printed in pencil and then linked it together when I wrote over everything in pen and that was close enough that I was never asked to actually learn to write cursive. 

I can't read cursive. I consider it a valuable lesson in perspective to have to ask someone to read cursive to me.  The perspective of someone illiterate.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2020, 07:45:45 PM »
We did cursive in grade 3 or 4.  No erasing until your cursive was good enough that the teacher gave you an eraser.  Mine was a white swan, that was a special moment.  I always found cursive faster than printing when I was a student, how do students write fast if all they can do is print.

Your cursive looks great. 

I saw an online article about cursive being much more difficult when ball point pens came in.  I know ball points need more pressure.

ysette9

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2020, 08:03:41 PM »
Iíve only been practicing with pencil so far. In France when I was there they pretty much only used fountain pens. Iíll give that a try when I have made it through the whole alphabet and feel more confident.

Later Iíll post about capital letters. I started an American workbook and quickly realized that the capitals didnít match up with the kiddie workbook my daughter had. So I moved to the French kiddie workbook so we would be learning the same style of letters. Some are fairly different between the two countries.

tawyer

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2020, 10:16:51 PM »
I saw an online article about cursive being much more difficult when ball point pens came in.  I know ball points need more pressure.
I had never made this connection before as to why I stopped writing in cursive around middle school age: fountain pens were no longer required and ball point was the go-to writing implement.

Iíve only been practicing with pencil so far. In France when I was there they pretty much only used fountain pens. Iíll give that a try when I have made it through the whole alphabet and feel more confident.
I'm genuinely curious to see what your lower case "f" will be taught as. When I did a French exchange in high school we were amazed at how uniform the handwriting was across the French students in comparison to ours. Although I have never gotten so practiced I have always since considered their style as the gold standard for what I am aiming for.

Later Iíll post about capital letters.
I never learned capital letters in cursive in school, but I did pick them up myself a few years ago from an image I found online. My handwriting suddenly looked so much like my father's it was spooky.

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2020, 01:14:34 AM »
Iíve only been practicing with pencil so far. In France when I was there they pretty much only used fountain pens. Iíll give that a try when I have made it through the whole alphabet and feel more confident.

Later Iíll post about capital letters. I started an American workbook and quickly realized that the capitals didnít match up with the kiddie workbook my daughter had. So I moved to the French kiddie workbook so we would be learning the same style of letters. Some are fairly different between the two countries.
I was wondering if you'd realised this when I saw your first post. Nice writing, by the way.
We were taught "joint" writing (which I assume was actually "joined" writing, but I'm sure we all said "joint" I must ask my school friends next time we have a call) in around 4th class (about age 9/10) and had to use it until the end of primary school. In 6th class, we were even obliged to use a fountain pen. Even with special nibs, that caused left-handed me immense problems. As soon as I was in secondary school the following year, I switched to block capitals wherever possible. The only place I wasn't still had to write in cursive was German class, because it was important to be able to show that I knew how to use capital letters properly and block letters being twice the physical size to indicate they were capitals just wasn't good enough.

Fast-forward to 2014 and I had decided to do the translator's exam in Germany. And so, almost twenty years after leaving college, I had to re-learn how to write. Typing is so much easier and faster. I happened to be on holiday in France and my sister had an old workbook from one of her kids, so I took that and thought it'd be as good a way as any to practice and couldn't really figure out why it seemed to be so difficult. I had thought muscle memory would take over pretty quickly. Then I realised it was just slightly different. I looked at a workbook here, and realised the Germans have a slightly different again way of doing it. I ended up having to download some worksheets from Ireland before I really got anywhere. One of those small but interesting cultural differences, I think.

habaneroNorway

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2020, 01:34:09 AM »
I only write cursive and has pretty much never done anything else. I don't write much by hand these days and I focus on speed, not making it look nice. I'm actually bit surprised cursive is not the "standard" everywhere as its much faster.

I can write reasonably nice if I really take my time, but my regular handwriting is barely readable by ayone (including myself, I sometimes can't read what I scribbled down on the shopping list when I'm in the grocery store).

draco44

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2020, 08:26:47 AM »
I also write almost exclusively in cursive. I love it! So much faster than printing, at least for me.

The one main change I'm aware of that I make in my script that deviates from "standard" cursive, is how uppercase Qs are written. I was taught the version that looks confusingly like an uppercase L. So I just do an O and slash through it with a tail that starts the next letter.

Good on you for being open to learning something new as an adult. I'm having a similar journey as an adult beginner in guitar. Sometimes it feels humiliating to know how much I suck compared to people decades younger, but I sure know more than when I started!

habaneroNorway

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2020, 08:30:52 AM »
Tried writing by hand now and realized I do not write proper cursive despite thinking I did. I write a hybrid (or more accurately a bastard) of print and cursive. When I tried actually writing proper cursive it was bloody slow and realized I haven't actually done so since probaly the 7th grade.

Ill add that to my itemes learned today, that I don't actually write cursive, that is.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2020, 09:48:03 AM »
I write sloppy cursive.  Printing is too slow.  The small r I was taught was awkward.  Your e with a little corner looks awkward.   Now I want to look up work sheets to see the variations.

My grandmother had beautiful script cursive.  Very elegant, but a bit harder to read.  My Dad was an engineer and in university they had to go back to printing, because it is clearer.  He printed as fast as I wrote.

Rosy

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2020, 11:42:46 AM »
I'm so old that my first-grade class was the first to be taught cursive only. Before that, they taught both, sort of a medieval-looking old German handwriting and modern cursive.
I can read the old script fine, it is how my grandfather wrote (born in 1892) which comes in handy with old documents and even the few medieval illuminated scripts I've admired in churches and museums.

I never realized that today not everyone can write cursive until one day my son mentioned it. Times change - I wouldn't be surprised if in 50 years kids only know how to dictate to Alexa. :)
It is true there is a bit of difference from country to country in cursive writing - the H and the M for instance are quite different from English vs German.

I'm a super slow printer for some reason and my cursive has become rather sloppy, I mean individualized:) over time.

@ysette9 - your writing looks lovely:). I went to school back in the day when they still hit your knuckles with a ruler, both the nuns and the teachers. I remember that I didn't find it easy to write perfectly within the lines provided.
About 65 years later due to modern medicine, it was discovered that my eyes have a defect and my perspective (depth perception) is off, so anything with straight lines is always challenging for me.

Imma

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2020, 12:54:18 PM »
@Rosy I had no idea either that not everyone learns cursive anymore and I went to school in the 90s! But I'm from Europe, maybe things are different here.

We learned to read and write in what Americans would call first grade, we wrote block letters and used a pencil. On the first day of second grade we received fountain pens and started learning cursive and we wrote like that all through primary school. We would only write drafts in pencil/block letters, in our workbooks it was always cursive and fountain pen!

I actually think it would be very bad if kids don't learn how to write properly anymore. I still take notes in class by hand because the act of writing somehow makes it easier to remember what I wrote down. I went back to school for my Master's and there's definitely a generation gap there, the other students are a decade younger and think I'm ancient with my paper notebook and diary!

RetiredAt63

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2020, 12:56:46 PM »

I never realized that today not everyone can write cursive until one day my son mentioned it. Times change - I wouldn't be surprised if in 50 years kids only know how to dictate to Alexa. :)

I'm guessing lots of kids today do not know how to tell time with an analog clock.  They don't understand that, say, 10 to 9 refers to the fact that the minute hand is 10 minutes away from the 12 and the hour hand is almost at the 9.  Say 8:50 and they are fine.  I found this true 20 years ago when I was a Cub leader.

ysette9

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2020, 04:01:16 PM »
I don't think anyone has ever in my entire life told me my handwriting looked nice, so thank you!

My standard for great handwriting is also the French. I feel if I see a piece of paper written by a French person that I can distinguish it. I can only conclude that the school system there emphasizes it to turn out a population of people with beautiful (and amazingly uniform across people) handwriting. When I was an exchange student there I was too old (lycťe) to see any handwriting instruction, but now that I am using some books and exercise books with my kid to teach her reading and math and whatnot, I can see that it is just built into the curriculum in a way I've never seen in the US system.

The analog clock analogy is interesting. I stopped wearing a watch when my first baby was born because I didn't want to scratch her while holding her in my arms. I haven't put one on since and she turns 6 tomorrow. In that time I realize that I am getting rusty telling analog time because I so infrequently see an analog clock. We haven't even broached the idea of teaching our kid how to tell time because we don't have a clock to show her. I keep meaning to get a new battery for my watch and start wearing it again but.....

ysette9

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2020, 04:05:03 PM »

Adding b and g to my repertoire. I got a lot of time in yesterday to practice which was remarkably meditative. I felt mentally refreshed after working on this, something I would have not expected.

I realize that I need the French writing paper with all the lines to really keep my letters neat and the correct size one to another. Iíll order some of that when I order some easy reader books of the next level up for my kid.

Dicey

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2020, 04:26:26 PM »
I'm a lefty and my handwriting is pretty bad. My printing is better, but it's getting worse as I age and use it less. FWIW, I'm also a terrible typist. Oh, and I went to Catholic School. Palmer Method Penmanship study began in second grade. When I was in college, I took a calligraphy class. I quite enjoyed it and saved my work in a Pee Chee Folder. Anyone remember those? I rifled through it recently and was amazed at my work. Alas, none of it stuck with me.

I love how neat your work looks and I love even more that you're doing this! Go, @ysette9!

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2020, 05:19:59 PM »
I never liked cursive when I was a kid, and I still don't. I was taught it in primary school late on, some time after being taught to write normally, and I remember thinking "Why we do we have to learn this stupid ugly illegible way of writing, what's wrong with writing normally?"

Stopped using it as soon as I went to secondary school. The only place I still use it is my signature, which has gradually devolved into a scribble now, nobody cares if that is illegible.

These days I type more than write, anyway...

halftimer

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2020, 07:47:25 PM »
I went to school in the 90's and learned cursive, but never had a beautiful hand for it but I enjoyed art and architecture so I also practiced clear printing for drafting, and calligraphy at different times. Later, I learned a bit of short hand which was great for quick note-taking and now I use very illegible hybrid for everyday notes when I am not typing. Although I never developed a skill for neat handwriting, I can read a variety of styles from when I briefly worked for an older lady years ago having to transcribe workshop evaluations from her participants so I learned.

I did some volunteer research transcribing recently for Zooniverse projects, and found it really interesting.  The letters in the Anti-Slavery letters were very difficult for me to read, but I could make out about 90-95% of the content, and only had problems with personal names since there could be more variation in spelling https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/bostonpubliclibrary/anti-slavery-manuscripts/talk/tags/slave (written between 1860-1869)

The Fan Mail and Hate Mail Letters to Orsen Wells after the War of the Worlds broadcast was much more fun. I could read near 100% of the content (most written October 1938) and the strong responses were at times hilarious https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/jmschell/my-dear-mr-welles-war-of-the-worlds-fan-and-hate-mail/talk/tags/hgwells-reference

Both of these projects are finished now, but the links above will show you a sample of the letters from those collections so you can see the (mostly American) handwriting from those time periods. Hope you enjoy.

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2020, 08:13:02 PM »
Cursive was taught when I was in elementary school, but kind of as a curiosity - it was never required. I don't think it's taught in my school district anymore. In high school, I started passing notes to a friend in cursive as amusing practice and accidentally switched my entire handwriting to it. Now I'm among the youngest (nearly*) full-time cursive users in the US. Good luck, ysette!

*Only nearly because lots of scientific notation is difficult or impossible in cursive.

ysette9

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2020, 10:26:05 PM »
I'm a lefty and my handwriting is pretty bad. My printing is better, but it's getting worse as I age and use it less. FWIW, I'm also a terrible typist. Oh, and I went to Catholic School. Palmer Method Penmanship study began in second grade. When I was in college, I took a calligraphy class. I quite enjoyed it and saved my work in a Pee Chee Folder. Anyone remember those? I rifled through it recently and was amazed at my work. Alas, none of it stuck with me.

I love how neat your work looks and I love even more that you're doing this! Go, @ysette9!
I used to have neat, legible, if uninspired handwriting. Nothing special but it was functional. As you say, mine also got worse with age and disuse. Typing took over and I got used to the speed of thought while typing. I tried to speed up my handwritten note taking to match which have me cramped, illegible handwriting that made my hand hurt after a page.

My hope is this will be a big reset. It actually dovetails perfectly with FIRE and covid in the sense of slowing down, focusing on a single thing, and being present. I think everything in life suffers when I am rush-rush-rushing between tasks at work, work and home, and trying to carve out a little time for me.

That is a fitting analogy for the differences I saw in American and French culture. In America we are always rushing, trying to multi task and priding ourselves on how busy we are and the speed with which we can get stuff done. In France I observed a strict delineation between work and home, and a deliberate practice of being present and enjoying life. A drink before dinner in the garden on Friday night, meals with the family at home each day. This feels like the difference between me trying to rush to write as quickly as possible, my mind one word ahead of my hand, versus spending time in a single word, letter by letter, to make it come out exactly so. By extension, maybe this is the difference between working life and FIRE life? Rushing versus being consciously in the moment.

Or maybe my thoughts on this will all change once I have learned cursive well enough to speed up. Hah!

ysette9

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2020, 10:29:38 PM »
I went to school in the 90's and learned cursive, but never had a beautiful hand for it but I enjoyed art and architecture so I also practiced clear printing for drafting, and calligraphy at different times. Later, I learned a bit of short hand which was great for quick note-taking and now I use very illegible hybrid for everyday notes when I am not typing. Although I never developed a skill for neat handwriting, I can read a variety of styles from when I briefly worked for an older lady years ago having to transcribe workshop evaluations from her participants so I learned.

I did some volunteer research transcribing recently for Zooniverse projects, and found it really interesting.  The letters in the Anti-Slavery letters were very difficult for me to read, but I could make out about 90-95% of the content, and only had problems with personal names since there could be more variation in spelling https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/bostonpubliclibrary/anti-slavery-manuscripts/talk/tags/slave (written between 1860-1869)

The Fan Mail and Hate Mail Letters to Orsen Wells after the War of the Worlds broadcast was much more fun. I could read near 100% of the content (most written October 1938) and the strong responses were at times hilarious https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/jmschell/my-dear-mr-welles-war-of-the-worlds-fan-and-hate-mail/talk/tags/hgwells-reference

Both of these projects are finished now, but the links above will show you a sample of the letters from those collections so you can see the (mostly American) handwriting from those time periods. Hope you enjoy.
This is really interesting. I peaked at the first letter from the 1930s and right off noticed that they have the same funny habit as my German exchange student friend: the n and m seem to be upside down and look like u and w instead.

Imma

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2020, 02:14:08 AM »
I went to school in the 90's and learned cursive, but never had a beautiful hand for it but I enjoyed art and architecture so I also practiced clear printing for drafting, and calligraphy at different times. Later, I learned a bit of short hand which was great for quick note-taking and now I use very illegible hybrid for everyday notes when I am not typing. Although I never developed a skill for neat handwriting, I can read a variety of styles from when I briefly worked for an older lady years ago having to transcribe workshop evaluations from her participants so I learned.

I did some volunteer research transcribing recently for Zooniverse projects, and found it really interesting.  The letters in the Anti-Slavery letters were very difficult for me to read, but I could make out about 90-95% of the content, and only had problems with personal names since there could be more variation in spelling https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/bostonpubliclibrary/anti-slavery-manuscripts/talk/tags/slave (written between 1860-1869)

The Fan Mail and Hate Mail Letters to Orsen Wells after the War of the Worlds broadcast was much more fun. I could read near 100% of the content (most written October 1938) and the strong responses were at times hilarious https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/jmschell/my-dear-mr-welles-war-of-the-worlds-fan-and-hate-mail/talk/tags/hgwells-reference

Both of these projects are finished now, but the links above will show you a sample of the letters from those collections so you can see the (mostly American) handwriting from those time periods. Hope you enjoy.
This is really interesting. I peaked at the first letter from the 1930s and right off noticed that they have the same funny habit as my German exchange student friend: the n and m seem to be upside down and look like u and w instead.

I had absolutely no idea what you meant until I opened the letter. I had never even thought of those letters looking like u and w, just a quick flowing n and m. Now I think I can't unsee it! I think mine look like that.

@Tass I still use cursive when I have to write legible! My regular handwriting is a mixture of cursive and basically joined block letters that I can write really fast. I have some friends who still use 100% cursive, but it seems in my country is taught in a similar way to France (don't know if they still teach it like that). All work we handed in in primary school had to be in cursive/fountain pen or you would get it back and had to do it again. Writing with a ballpoint was not allowed because it would ruin your handwriting.

ysette9

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2020, 07:13:58 AM »
I love how this process and this thread is answering old questions in my mind (use of fountain pens, handwriting differences)! Thank you everyone for sharing.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2020, 07:53:18 AM »
Your "r"s look like my "r"s.  I learned to write in Quebec, so basically French background.  I think we sloped a bit more to the right, yours is very vertical.

My parents (educated on the Prairies in the 1920s) had written "r"s that looked more like printed "r"s converted with joins.  So much variation!

Imma

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2020, 08:47:17 AM »
Your "r"s look like my "r"s.  I learned to write in Quebec, so basically French background.  I think we sloped a bit more to the right, yours is very vertical.

My parents (educated on the Prairies in the 1920s) had written "r"s that looked more like printed "r"s converted with joins.  So much variation!

This is how I learned to write in the Netherlands in the 90s: https://assets.catawiki.nl/assets/2017/9/22/5/0/a/50a23a3e-72e1-4a19-aed8-6d21bcc30004.jpg

We also had to slope to the right, except for me, as a lefthanded person I was supposed to slope to the left! No idea why I had to write differently. Sloping to the right feels more natural to me and it also looks better imho.

GuitarStv

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2020, 09:35:56 AM »
My dad always made me do home renovations with him while I was growing up.  Everything from additions, to basement finishing, to re-roofing.  Dad wasn't always the best carpenter and had a habit of whacking his thumb with the hammer . . . so I picked up a broad and deep understanding of cursive pretty quickly at a young age.

:P

waltworks

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2020, 09:50:09 AM »
I find it odd that a technique intended to make writing with a quill easier is still taught.

I mean, I did a bunch of calligraphy (homeschooled weirdo) when I was a kid, and when you've got a fountain pen with a nib, or a quill (yes, I played around with them) or a brush (if doing Chinese calligraphy, for example) keeping the writing implement on the surface without having to lift and re-load with ink is a big deal. Writing anything with a quill is almost impossible if you have too many starts and stops, so cursive is what you do.

But nobody does that anymore. With a pencil or a ballpoint pen, or anything else that controls the pigment/ink/etc flow well there's no advantage whatsoever. Signatures are on the verge of not being required *anywhere* - I bought a million dollar house last year and did pretty much all of it electronically with a default signature that had been generated by Docusign. I've been scrawling a big "X" on touchpads when a signature has been required for years as an inside joke with my wife about our relative education levels (she *finished* her PhD and always likes to remind me...)

As long as my kids can write legibly at all, I consider it good. Learning to type well, on the other hand, is mandatory in our house. I certainly wouldn't spend my own time learning or relearning cursive unless I was very bored. If you want to learn a neat way to write, do some crazy gothic calligraphy or something that's actually cool. At least you can use that at Halloween, maybe.

-W

ysette9

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2020, 10:21:34 AM »
Interestingly, the Covid lockdown has forced us into a slower, slightly less digital lifestyle. Iíve been doing homeschool with my kid, so teaching her to read and write and do math, mostly all on paper. Iíve been using the whiteboard in her room to help.

We donít have a printer at home (we always used the ones at work for the rare times we needed to print anything out), so I have had to resort to hand-done alternatives. I did a calendar with pencil and paper to teach my kid the days of the week and how long until her birthday. I made her a birthday card last night with paper and tracing some images from a book. I found the methodical-ness Iím learning from my cursive practice to be helpful in making a pretty card.

So is it the most important thing out there? No. But I am appreciating it for craft and beauty in a way maybe I was too immature to understand when I was younger.

waltworks

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2020, 11:00:18 AM »
That's interesting - you guys have bucked the trend, I guess! We've been stuck with quite a bit more digital/screen stuff for school, which is a bummer.

If you appreciate the craft of writing, seriously ditch the cursive and do some real calligraphy. It's fun.

-W

Dicey

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2020, 12:22:27 PM »
My dad always made me do home renovations with him while I was growing up.  Everything from additions, to basement finishing, to re-roofing.  Dad wasn't always the best carpenter and had a habit of whacking his thumb with the hammer . . . so I picked up a broad and deep understanding of cursive pretty quickly at a young age.

:P
By that standard, I suppose my penmanship is excellent :p

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2020, 03:16:20 PM »
I can relate to a few posters here.  I used to have nice handwriting, although it changed in style over the years, but as speed became more important in university lectures and work meetings, it got worse and worse.  I developed a hybrid of printing and writing to save time and now people tell me they have a hard time reading it.

How old are you people that used fountain pens?  Iím 59 and donít remember ever using one.

The rapping on the knuckles was something my mother endured, because she was naturally left handed, which was unacceptable at that time, so got smacked a lot.  She said thatís why she had arthritis in her later years.

Imma

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2020, 06:48:33 PM »
I can relate to a few posters here.  I used to have nice handwriting, although it changed in style over the years, but as speed became more important in university lectures and work meetings, it got worse and worse.  I developed a hybrid of printing and writing to save time and now people tell me they have a hard time reading it.

How old are you people that used fountain pens?  Iím 59 and donít remember ever using one.

The rapping on the knuckles was something my mother endured, because she was naturally left handed, which was unacceptable at that time, so got smacked a lot.  She said thatís why she had arthritis in her later years.

30! But not in the US. We used pencil or fountain pens, we weren't allowed to use ballpoints. I still own a fountain pen that I use when my handwriting has to be legible.

I have a family member only a few years older than you who was forced to write with their right hand even though they were left handed. I'm also lefthanded but thankfully by the 90s they had figured out there's nothing wrong with us!

okcisok

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2020, 09:58:46 PM »
I was inspired to print out some cursive sheets and practice. I got a fountain pen as a gift a year ago, and noticed it was much easier to write cursive than to print with it. The ink flows beautifully when writing cursive.
I learned cursive in school, and was so proud to be doing 'adult' writing. I gradually stopped in college when I could print faster. I love to write and mail letters, so I'm going to try to use it instead of printing.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2020, 06:17:40 AM »
How old are you people that used fountain pens?  Iím 59 and donít remember ever using one.

60's.  Fountain pens came with cartridges, so easy to refill.  They did leak sometimes, which is part of why ballpoints were so popular.  There were ballpoint pens as well, refillable.  It's hard to even find ball point refills now, they are so much a throw-away item.

Imma

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2020, 08:22:39 AM »
How old are you people that used fountain pens?  Iím 59 and donít remember ever using one.

60's.  Fountain pens came with cartridges, so easy to refill.  They did leak sometimes, which is part of why ballpoints were so popular.  There were ballpoint pens as well, refillable.  It's hard to even find ball point refills now, they are so much a throw-away item.

I use Parker pens for everything - fountain pen, ballpoint and mechanical pencil and where I live these are still quite easy to find. The pens are very affordable too, they start at about Ä10. Of course there are crazy expensive pens too but the cheap models are fine.

ysette9

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2020, 08:40:54 AM »
I love Parker fountain pens. Cheap, small radius (I have small hands so I hate fat pens), easy to replace cartridges, and they make erasable ink with eraser/re-write pens that are very handy for school.

Trifele

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2020, 11:01:32 AM »
Great job to learn this @ysette9!

I did Palmer Method cursive back in second grade of Catholic school.  (I'm 53, never used a fountain pen).  In high school I changed one letter -- the lowercase 'r' -- which was not working for me.  The Palmer 'r' looks similar to the French 'r' you are doing.  I went to the English style 'r' (sharp downstroke that touches the line, looks kind of like a narrow "v") and that worked a lot better. 

ETA:  We have kids age 16 and 14 who were among the last to learn cursive in second grade public school.  I think they discontinued handwriting in our district the very next year after our (now) 14 year old learned it.  We took the kids to get their passports renewed last year, and the official said most of the teenagers she sees can't write cursive even well enough to sign their passports.  She said she coaches them through it, having them practice a few times by printing and joining, then doing it officially in pen.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 11:13:40 AM by Trifele »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2020, 12:43:39 PM »
How old are you people that used fountain pens?  Iím 59 and donít remember ever using one.

60's.  Fountain pens came with cartridges, so easy to refill.  They did leak sometimes, which is part of why ballpoints were so popular.  There were ballpoint pens as well, refillable.  It's hard to even find ball point refills now, they are so much a throw-away item.

I use Parker pens for everything - fountain pen, ballpoint and mechanical pencil and where I live these are still quite easy to find. The pens are very affordable too, they start at about Ä10. Of course there are crazy expensive pens too but the cheap models are fine.

Parker pens were (are) great. 

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2020, 01:38:39 PM »
I find it odd that a technique intended to make writing with a quill easier is still taught.

I mean, I did a bunch of calligraphy (homeschooled weirdo) when I was a kid, and when you've got a fountain pen with a nib, or a quill (yes, I played around with them) or a brush (if doing Chinese calligraphy, for example) keeping the writing implement on the surface without having to lift and re-load with ink is a big deal. Writing anything with a quill is almost impossible if you have too many starts and stops, so cursive is what you do.

But nobody does that anymore. With a pencil or a ballpoint pen, or anything else that controls the pigment/ink/etc flow well there's no advantage whatsoever. Signatures are on the verge of not being required *anywhere* - I bought a million dollar house last year and did pretty much all of it electronically with a default signature that had been generated by Docusign. I've been scrawling a big "X" on touchpads when a signature has been required for years as an inside joke with my wife about our relative education levels (she *finished* her PhD and always likes to remind me...)

As long as my kids can write legibly at all, I consider it good. Learning to type well, on the other hand, is mandatory in our house. I certainly wouldn't spend my own time learning or relearning cursive unless I was very bored. If you want to learn a neat way to write, do some crazy gothic calligraphy or something that's actually cool. At least you can use that at Halloween, maybe.

-W

I'm 100% with you on the pointlessness of universal cursive instruction (they just added cursive back into the curriculum in my state much to the excitement of Facebook dwelling Boomers all over my timeline), but there is some good evidence that for struggling readers with dyslexia or related disorders, learning to write and practice cursive can improve their reading skills. So I think there is still a use case for it. Just not wasting everyone's time with it.

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2020, 02:24:35 PM »
I went to a public elementary school in Canada in the 1990s, and we all had to learn cursive. With ballpoint pens and pencils. I hated it and didn't see the point, since computers and typing were already taking over. For the rest of elementary school, all of my non-math assignments had to be in cursive. Then I started middle school and my teachers asked me to print everything because they couldn't read my cursive. By high school, computers were ubiquitous. All assignments were typed, as was most of my university note-taking. I stopped using cursive for anything except my signature until I started using fountain pens as an adult. Joining the letters is easier with a fountain pen and I've developed a sort of hybrid cursive/printing system which is easier to read than regular cursive. But I still print with a non-gel ballpoint, since it's easier.

I think it's useful for kids to learn how to join letters, but I don't see a need for them to learn a specific cursive system, since they will mainly use it for personal note-taking.

ysette9

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Learning cursive
« Reply #40 on: Today at 09:50:11 AM »
The world is going to hell in a hand basket around us and I find that practicing cursive before bed is a good way to slow down my mind so I can fall asleep. It is very meditative.

Last night I worked on a couple of new letters. I had a devil of a time getting the x attached properly to the neighbor to the left.
« Last Edit: Today at 11:08:17 AM by ysette9 »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #41 on: Today at 11:02:49 AM »
The world is going to hell in a hand basket around us and I find that practicing cursive before bed is a good way to slow down my mind so I can fall asleep. It is very meditative.

Last night I worked on a couple of new letters. I had a devil of a time getting the x attached properly to the neighbor to the left.

Oh, "x".  My "x"s are usually started fresh.

Fun challenge - let's all find some lined paper and write out the lower case alphabet and post it. My writing is horrible, you may see my 10th or 15th try.  Better still, we can all write "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", which contains every single letter and gives us a sentence.  It even makes the "x" easy, since it will be coming after the "o" and before a space.

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #42 on: Today at 11:16:10 AM »
yvette,

When I was first starting out as an ESOL teacher, I was hired as the English teacher at a French elementary school located in the US

This was long enough ago that we still were writing on blackboards!

My students were unable to read my cursive writing as they had all learned the French system and it allowed for NO variation.  So, the summer after my first year of employment, I took 3 handwriting workbooks from the school cabinet and set out to teach myself the French cursive writing system.   I seem to remember some snails.

The paper was sort of like graph paper to help one get the proportions of the letters correct.

I no longer write in a French style, but the experience greatly improved my cursive writing in general!  Even so, when I write in cursive for my students and my own children it is mostly like I am writing in a code -- they can barely read it.


ysette9

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #43 on: Today at 11:46:37 AM »

Here is my take at the sentence. I havenít officially learned w yet so it could be worse than the others. Iím not feeling like I am in my groove at the moment.

ysette9

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #44 on: Today at 11:50:36 AM »
yvette,

When I was first starting out as an ESOL teacher, I was hired as the English teacher at a French elementary school located in the US

This was long enough ago that we still were writing on blackboards!

My students were unable to read my cursive writing as they had all learned the French system and it allowed for NO variation.  So, the summer after my first year of employment, I took 3 handwriting workbooks from the school cabinet and set out to teach myself the French cursive writing system.   I seem to remember some snails.

The paper was sort of like graph paper to help one get the proportions of the letters correct.

I no longer write in a French style, but the experience greatly improved my cursive writing in general!  Even so, when I write in cursive for my students and my own children it is mostly like I am writing in a code -- they can barely read it.
Yes! This paper is universal in France. I am ordering myself some because I now appreciate how really helpful it is for getting the size of the letters correct with respect to each other. I am struggling with that right now because I have all of this blank space between the lines.

So others know what we are talking about, see below from the workbook

RetiredAt63

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Re: Learning cursive
« Reply #45 on: Today at 12:37:31 PM »
We had something similar to show heights.  Not quite the same.