Here is some info about the history of cursive handwriting.
When I lived in France, I noticed that their printing and their cursive were different. It took me a bit to learn to read it and to write it, but I figured it out. It’s not that hard to learn. Neither is cursive.
The goal is to be able to write neatly and clearly, and for others to be able to read what we write. Whether it’s pretty or not, well, that’s up for debate of how important that is.
Printing and italics (a hybrid of printing and cursive) are easier to read than cursive. I’d argue that writing in italic is also easier and faster.
I don’t explicitely teach my kids cursive (nor do I consider it to be on the “must-learn” list of life skills needed for a successful and fulfilling future) – I trust my kids will learn how to write in the fashion that meets their goals. It worked for me when I was in France. And now, as an adult, I hardly remember how to write the cursive I was taught (and practiced over and over) in school. I write a form of italic that I was never taught. And that form seems to be the norm now. Writing is changing. No big deal. I’m going with the flow.
Writing has always evolved. Anyone who was able to learn to read and write the English language in any form can learn it again later in another form.
And if I can learn how to write in Japanese at the age of 25 (which I did during two years of study in grad school), then my kids can learn cursive if and when they need to later. And they certainly can learn to read it.
My kids have dabbled in cursive from time to time. Cursive is interesting to them. And we have books and other resources immediately on hand if we find the need to know how to write in cursive. But, if suddenly cursive writing just stopped being used, I don’t see it as the end of the world as we know it – if that were to happen, I’d see that as the natural evolution of language. It doesn’t mean we’ve lost the means to communicate to each other with writing.
So, I don’t stress about it. In fact, I don’t really stress about teaching my kids anything in particular. But I think that’s for another post.