But How Will 21st Century Authors Autograph Their Books?

So cursive is on the way out. Starting next year, North Carolina teachers will no longer have to teach cursive and this change is happening all around the country. Some North Carolina school districts may still teach cursive, but they won’t be required to do so. I think this is fine. Let’s face it. Keyboarding is the future and if I had a school-aged child right now, I would want him to be able to zip around a keyboard at lightning speed. I’m not sure what happens when it’s time to endorse a check or sign a contract (or  a book), but in the 21st century, I’m okay with leaving cursive behind. It’s really difficult for many kids and honestly, why bother? I’d much rather that we focus on the content of what a child is writing, whether by hand or by keyboard. I want to know his ideas and I want him to be able to share them with me easily and maybe even beautifully.

What do you think?




  1. Sheree Gillcrist on February 27, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I am all for technology marching along and for our children to keep pace and time with it. However, I think those same childen wil lose the identity and the boost to their self esteem to never be in a position to receive hand written letters and how to write them in return as well. Properly, just like the thank you notes my mom made us write each time we received a gift. It was about taking the time to show that you care and a hand written note still means just that to me. I save all of mine and once a year during an attic reshuffle but never purging:} I sit on the floor and lose a morning rereading all of those letters from family and friends, some gone and some just gone missing from my life for whatever reason, and I know that I am blessed.

  2. Diane Chamberlain on February 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Those handwritten letters and notes mean the world, don’t they, Sheree? They’ll still arrive, only printed rather than written in cursive.

    • JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on March 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      Actually, in my opinion, it is a very sad sign of the times:( There is nothing like holding and reading a letter handwritten by a family member or friend; it is so much more personal, an extension of them and their personality shows through in their handwriting.

      I have saved everything, including greeting cards from my elders as well as notes and cards from my children and I love to see how their handwriting matured as they did. I have a box of poems written by my husband and a few of them he wrote on the computer; while they are still loving and sweet they are not quite the same!

      I also have my grandmother’s love letters from my grandfather, written while he was stationed in occupied France during WW1. The feeling I experience while holding the paper he wrote on and reading words actually written in his own handwriting is overwhelming; nothing can compare to that connection, for it is so very personal. Although better than nothing, emails and computer printouts leave me cold in comparison.

  3. Margo on February 27, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I wasn’t aware of this change so not sure how I feel about it. I remember when I was taught cursive in school and thought how ‘creative’ and beautiful the letters seemed to appear on the page. All my classmates had their own style and it was a way of showing an artistic and individual side to everyone. My only concern with losing that is that their will be no individuality with each child in their artistic penmanship; however I quess that will be expressed in new and technological ways (I hope).

  4. Betty Rose on February 27, 2012 at 11:10 am

    We are just digging the hole deeper….I agree with everything Sheree
    has written….Depending on Spell Check has shown in numerous blogs, news reports on-line, etc. that NO ONE is even doing a good job of editing. Spelling is already low on the priority list. I LIKE receiving thank-you notes from my grandchildren. What is so difficult about cursive that everyone can’t learn how to write this way? It’s bad enough now to receive wedding invitations with an address label printed from a computer/printer. No one can take the time to personally address their invitations? So sad!

  5. Ann on February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Diane, you are right. I still send thank you notes and letters but I print them because my cursive letters are not as easy to read. I think it is fine to stop teaching cursive – there are many things more important for students to learn.

  6. Diane Chamberlain on February 27, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I can see this is an emotional issue for some of us. It feels as though we’re losing something. But there is so much more kids have to learn today than when we were in school–the technology we can hardly imagine. I foresee a day in 30 or 40 years when kids will teach themselves cursive to be cool and different!

  7. Betty on February 27, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Most young people print even though they have been taught cursive. I fussed at them for the last ten years I taught. Maybe they can just teach them a cursive signature. 🙂

  8. Karla on February 27, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I think it’s ridiculous. Cursive is actually EASIER for some kids, including my own. Both of them have horrific printing but beautiful cursive. Cursive shouldn’t be mandatory, but when they grow up and have to sign documents, I guess it will just say “print name here” and “print name here again.”

  9. Pat F on February 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I only wish it was like that when I was a kid. Those of you who went to Catholic school know what I mean. My handwriting is AWFUL….only F I ever got on a report card! Nursing school and working only made it worse!!! My husband can never read my grocery lists! Just teach them to sign there name…..! 🙂

    • prachi on February 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      I absolutely agree! I remember learning cursive in catholic school and it was horrendous! There really isnt a big need for student to learn cursive and I’m actually one where my signature is a combination of cursive and print so teaching them to sign their names should be sufficient!

  10. Trish Simpson on February 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    As an elementary school secretary, I am saddened at this. Handwriting (printed or cursive) is becoming a lost art. School age children can’t even print legibly these days. I hope this will not be case in other states, if anything, I wish they would spend MORE time on handwriting.

  11. Helen Kavanagh on February 27, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Lucky kids! I hated cursive, I still do. We were forced to write it in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. From 6th grade on we could write however we wanted to, and I never wrote in cursive again. I was taught how to write in Kindergarten and to me learning a whole new way of writing was just dumb. Plus it’s harder to read.

  12. Cindy on February 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    I am torn with this. My handwriting was never beautiful, but it was okay. But when we were actually given a grade on it, I think that is bad.I would try so hard to be neat and beautiful.. It never got an A. This didn’t give me much self confidence. However on the other hand, I have seen some of the most horrendous handwriting ever since I started subbing 4 years ago. If a teacher cannot read what the student has written, it doesn’t matter if it is the right answer or not, it is simply wrong. I have a grandson that cannot print very well at all and simply spacing his letters is horrible. But his teacher has been teaching him cursive and it is beautiful. Problem is, he was never taught in grade school, so he doesn’t recognize the letters in cursive. I don’t know what the answer is. For me, I use the printursive way, I will start out in cursive, and somewhere along the way, I write words with both cursive and print…this can’t be taught..,no it is an acquired skill…lol

  13. Diane Chamberlain on February 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    thanks for the laugh, Cindy!

  14. Katrina on March 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I love handwriting. Writing letters is one of my favourite things to do. And something that makes me incredibly sad is that I was never taught cursive writing in school. We were only really taught to print. My handwriting tends to be a mismash of print and ‘joined up’ writing which is far less pretty than cursive but seems to be the UK version.

    I’ve tried to teach myself cursive writing but it’s not going too well.

  15. krystal on March 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I have always hated cursive writing and I’m not good at it. They don’t teach it any more in schools(I”m Canadian) It’s good to know but I’d rather be good on the keyboard. I find it really hard to read anyway. and when a teacher would write on the board in cursive I have to ask for clairfication saying I”m sorry but i can’t read your handwritting. So I don’t feel a loss

  16. kelly on November 12, 2014 at 7:50 am

    I think cursive is a beautiful art form but it will become just like calligraphy-something to teach yourself as an extra curricula hobby. Sad.

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