The new Common Core Standards for schools is set to be implemented in 44 states beginning now and in the near future has been adopted by 44 states. What is dramatically missing from the core standards is any reference learning cursive handwriting. As this Standard goes into effect across the country, cursive handwriting instruction in public schools, which has been on the decline for years, will virtually disappear. As genealogists this should be a concern. We will soon have a generation that will not know how to write in cursive and likely will not know how to read cursive. How many millions of handwritten records do we have in our world? What will happen to those records if reading cursive handwriting becomes a lost skill?
We all know that keyboarding is so much more important than handwriting. Who need to learn to write by hand when we have computers? Right? Even if you ignore the benefits that come from learning handwriting when you are young such as better reading skills and coordination, think how hard it would be to learn when you are older and not as motivated. So is this just another hand-wringing concern or is there some valid reason for dumping handwriting instruction? The practical reason is that the schools are spending so much time teaching to standardized tests that they just don't have time to teach and unimportant skill like handwriting.
I did a Google search for writing and cursive and genealogy and I guess I am the only person in the world who sees this as a problem. My last post on this subject was a year ago and is the only thing that comes up with a search.
Let me use an example. Let's suppose that I did not read German Blackletter handwriting sometimes called Gothic script. Let's also suppose I didn't read German. How long would it take me to learn how to adequately read the script? How long would it take me to learn to write the script if I didn't know how to hand write any other cursive script? Now lets suppose I go to my local public school. I never learn to use a pen or pencil to write in cursive? How long would it take me to learn to read cursive if I didn't know how to write at all? Could I read the 1930 U.S. Census?
By the way, my grandchildren can't tell time with an analog clock either.