If you think cursive is just for the Declaration of Independence, think again. Cursive writing has loads of benefits!
Why Teach Cursive
You have two options when it comes to handwriting: print or cursive. Cursive writing is known for its speed and fluidity; it is a quick and natural way for humans to write. For hundreds of years, cursive was the form of penmanship taught to every student.
In the 1930s, educators decided that children would have an easier time reading and writing if the written and printed letters matched, so they developed the ball-and-stick print we use today.
Although some say cursive is old-fashioned and outmoded, it has decided benefits:
Can Be Easier for Kids with Dysgraphia
If your child has certain forms of dysgraphia, letters can be challenging to write. He may struggle with the size, shape, spacing, and placement of letters. He may also write letters backward (this is called mirror writing). For a child with dysgraphia, placing each letter is a mental debate. “Where do I begin?” or “Which way does the curve go?”
Cursive handwriting is easier for many kids with dysgraphia because the letters are all connected. This eliminates the mental debate of “Where do I start?” and helps the writing process flow more smoothly.
It’s More Natural for Beginners
Cursive writing is easier for young children to learn. It is a faster way to write, has fewer starts and stops, and is based on fewer strokes. A child needs only master three main strokes to write in cursive: the upward stroke, the downward stroke, and the loop. Print requires more advanced fine motor control because it has more stroke patterns.
Opens Up Texts and Historical Records from the Past
Cursive can look like hieroglyphics to the unfamiliar. The National Archives has billions of handwritten documents, most of which are written in cursive. Students can examine historical texts when they know how to read and write in cursive. From the US Constitution to letters from Civil War soldiers to the original manuscript of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, books and texts in cursive mark our history.
Needed to Sign Their Names
As a student, you print your name at the top of every worksheet and test. As an adult, you sign your name on tax documents, checks, letterhead, and more. What type of writing is required for signatures? You guessed it: cursive. Students should know how to sign their names.
Faster Way to Write
Imagine you have two routes to work: one is a road with no stoplights, and the other is littered with them. Which one is faster? Undoubtedly the road with no stops and starts. The same is true for handwriting. Once a person is proficient at cursive, they will write much faster than print. Print involves lifting your pencil with each letter. Cursive requires that you only do so at the end of the word. It is by far a speedier way to write.
How to Teach Cursive
Cursive can be fun! Kids enjoy it when you use engaging materials.
Fun Cursive Worksheets
You don’t need to practice cursive by writing boring sentences. Make it fun! You can print out these cursive fun facts worksheets or these cursive growth mindset quotations worksheets. If you are just getting started with teaching cursive, check out these FREE cursive Christmas alphabet worksheets.
Why is it that kids find everything more fun on an iPad? Capitalize on that fact by trying the Handwriting Success App. Kids can practice cursive anywhere if they have a tablet and a compatible stylus. Check out my full review of the app here.
Why You Should Teach Cursive
Cursive writing has distinct advantages over print: it’s faster, easier to learn, and a key to the past. Consider teaching it as part of your child’s penmanship program. Soon they will be signing their own John Hancock!