Cursive handwriting makes comeback in Tennessee schools

(Photo: WKRN)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Cursive handwriting is being brought back to many Tennessee classrooms after state lawmakers voted to require it in 2015.

Originally, common core standards did not include cursive, leaving a number of students caught in the middle or playing catch-up. Many 4th graders are just beginning their cursive education even though Tennessee law now requires kids be taught it at the beginning of second grade.

South Knoxville Elementary teacher Tracy Barnes says because some students were in second or third grade when the law was made, they’re just now getting their fist dose of cursive.

“They’re in that middle group where we’re still trying to teach them the basics.” Said Barnes.

Barnes teaches cursive for 15 minutes several times a week and says the benefits of the class go beyond just handwriting.

“Kids that can write in cursive, it helps with root memorization, with being able to form letters, understanding the flow of things, comprehension works better through cursive.” Said Barnes.

Teachers are also still adjusting to carve out time in their curriculum to teach cursive.

“When you have so many other things: reading, writing, math, within your curriculum standards that you feel you need to get to, handwriting kind of takes the back seat to that,” Said Foothills Elementary teacher Jessica King.

For teachers who did not learn cursive instruction in college, Knox County says they have a “team of 3rd grade teachers who developed resources” in order to help those instructors.