Last night (October 24) my wife and I decided to go out to dinner as we both felt like we were too lazy to make anything. We've been pretty tired keeping track of a new puppy we've adopted and while it's been fun, the overnight potty breaks can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. It was a Tuesday evening, so we both figured most restaurants would be a bit slower, and we could easily get a table just about anywhere.

The food was great, it was 2 for 1 on happy hour on drinks, and we had a nice hour to ourselves, without chasing around our multiple pets. When it came time to pay the check, my wife wanted to pay so she could practice signing with her new legal last name, as she recently had her name changed.

It was a pretty cool moment if I'm being honest. There was this weird sense of pride I had when she wanted to legally use her new last name. She signed the bill and after only having her new last name for about a week, her signature is 100% better than mine. I've been signing my name the same way for my entire life, she's been signing her new name for about 7 days and her signature is surely more legible than mine is.

That's when this question popped up, do they even teach cursive in schools anymore?

Unsplash - Aaron Burden
Unsplash - Aaron Burden

States That Require Cursive Writing

There are currently 21 states that require cursive to be part of a school's curriculum. I remember learning cursive in 4th and 5th grade. We would get sheets of paper with cursive letters that we had to trace and then on the line below, we had to write the letter ourselves. We worked our way through the alphabet and eventually, we would have to write papers or book reports completely in cursive. Is this required in Iowa?

Iowa is one of the 29 states that do not require schools to teach cursive writing, according to My Cursive.

My Cursive
My Cursive

My question would be...why not?

Some people may believe that cursive writing is dying and it's something you rarely see in 2023 but I don't really understand why this basic life skill wouldn't be taught in all schools. If anything, you should at least know how to sign your name. Think of how many documents you've signed throughout your life. I've had to sign my name thousands of times and I've been able to do so since the 4th grade because I learned this basic skill.

I will add that according to My Cursive, even if a state does not require cursive writing to be taught, some schools will decide to add cursive writing to their curriculum.

How Do Kids Learn To Sign Their Name?

If you have a student in elementary school, let us know in the comments if they've been taught cursive writing or if you had to teach your child yourself. Even though it's not a requirement in Iowa, maybe your student has been taught this basic life skill. If your student has not or won't learn how to write in cursive, do you plan to teach them yourself? Your kid likely won't need to use cursive in their life, other than signing their name and possibly reading an older document.

If your student does not attend a school that plans on adding cursive writing to the curriculum, do you think they should?

To this day, my mother only writes in cursive. She says her printing is ugly and thinks her cursive writing looks better. She used to leave my siblings and me a chores list during our summer vacations when we were in school and the entire list would be in cursive. Occasionally we'd have to call her and say we couldn't read her writing but that stopped completely when I was 11 years old.

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