I just heard on my local news station that Indiana passed a law that says schools are no longer required to teach students cursive. The idea is that it is more important to have students spend time learning keyboarding skills. OT's who work in schools get plenty of referrals related to handwriting and legibility issues. For some students, handwriting in general is a challenge. It may take years to learn adequate printing skills and for some, cursive is considered to be too difficult to learn. There are certainly alternatives for written expression that might be more efficient and easier to read, however, cursive writing IS still used and kids need to be able to read it. My opinion has always been that the best way to learn to read cursive is to learn to write cursive. The issue I often see is that students are taught cursive in 2nd or 3rd grade and then they are not required to use it and they forget what the letters look like and how to form the letters. Somewhere down the road, there will be a teacher who requires cursive for final drafts or tests and it creates unnecessary anxiety. This happened to my own son and I saw how frustrated he was trying to complete his homework and tests. I heard similar concerns from other parents and so I made "letter cards" for his class so that each would have a small card to keep in their desk as a reference for writing letters in cursive. He still prefers to print however he now knows the letters and writes in cursive when required.
If you'd like to read the story about Indiana's new law, you'll find it at http://www.local12.com/mostpopular/story/Ind-schools-ending-cursive-writing-requirement/sJTh-PsHhkeoYomeC3oU-g.cspx
There was also a "local news poll" asking if viewers think students should still learn cursive? 92% of the viewers said YES! So what do YOU think?!