7 Reasons You Need to Teach Cursive
With the rise of technology and the multitude of standards that teachers are asked to cover, cursive writing has quickly fallen by the wayside. Some of the high school students I’ve worked with type all of their work and have little or no experience with cursive writing. While technically a legal “signature” may be printed or signed, there are still many great reasons to bring back this lost art form.
Kids Love It
As a former third grade teacher, I can tell you from personal experience that kids love learning cursive. Since it is usually only taught in one grade level (typically third grade), it stands as a rite of passage, something special that sets third grade apart from all other grades. It doesn’t matter how advanced or behind a student is in other subject areas –
cursive levels the playing field and gives students a chance to be good at something.
Students Need to Be Able to Read Cursive
Today’s standards emphasize the reading and understanding of primary source documents. Many of these documents were written when cursive was all the rage. If you can’t write in cursive, chances are you can’t read in it either. Learning cursive gives students a connection to people and events from long ago.
It Gives Students an Opportunity to Develop Their Own Style
After learning how to form cursive letters, students will notice their own style forming. Students love adding their personal flair to their handwriting – from their preferred slant to the size of their loops, cursive writing becomes unique and individual. Students gain ownership over their handwriting and realize that it is special and different from everyone else’s.
While it may take time for students to learn, once it is learned, it can save time, allowing students to accomplish more writing tasks and giving the old “my hand hurts!” excuse a rest. I love to tell students that it really comes in handy should they ever become a famous person – all of those autographs can be really draining after all! It’s good to know that cursive speeds up these every-day tasks.
All That Brain Research
By teaching cursive, you are actually improving brain function in your students. Learning cursive requires students to engage more neural resources than printing. The benefits may be particularly useful for students with dyslexia and other reading difficulties. This type of writing combines a tactile experience with visual processing, leading to a multi-sensory experience. Here is a great article from Psychology Today to explain the science behind these findings.
Cursive Handwriting is Preferred in Certain Areas of Society
Although it is technically legal to “sign” your name in print, it is much more acceptable to use an actual signature. From driver’s licenses to wills to home deeds, cursive signatures are the accepted norm. While your 8-year old students may not worry today about future identify theft, cursive writing IS more difficult to forge than a printed “signature.”
It’s Easy to Teach
In just a few minutes a day, over the course of one or two months, you can teach your students cursive. We have a cursive handwriting packet that is perfect for teaching your students cursive in a progressive way. It’s awesome because students learn how to connect their letters immediately, allowing them to write real, connected words from Day 1. There are several other excellent resources out there on the Internet as well. Donna Young has an amazing website with video animations of each letter and tons of related activities.
If you must give homework to your students, cursive is a great choice because it doesn’t require parent-assistance and gives kids just the right amount of practice.
There are many great reasons to implement cursive writing with your kids. We know it will be a positive experience for your students.