My cursive writing is atrocious! It looks like the writing of a third grader. I have always longed for elegant, neat cursive writing. We are often judged by our writing skills and penmanship. Or at least we used to be.
Cursive in the homeschool
In this age of computers, email and electronic signatures, cursive writing seems to be a lost art. Many have come to the conclusion that cursive writing is a complete waste of time, ancient and no longer necessary or relevant for today's tech-savvy kids.
Benefits of teaching cursive
There was a time when cursive was taught before print script, and Montessori educators still teach cursive first. Developmentally, it is much more natural for children to write in curves than straight lines. We write much faster in cursive since we do not have to lift our pen. Many bad penmanship habits also come from learning print script first. Cursive writing affects a child's thinking skills, literacy skills and motor skills. Cursive writers score higher on SAT and AP tests.
I have come to realize that cursive writing is no longer a priority in schools and that some states would much rather teach children keyboarding. As home educators, we have the opportunity to teach our children both. Most children learn to type quite successfully on their own, and teaching them basic typing skills is relatively easy. Teaching a child cursive is just as easy and not nearly as time-consuming as most would think.
Should cursive still be taught in the homeschool?
I say a resounding yes! Cursive writing still has value in today's world and should be taught! We have become incredibly complacent and somewhat lazy in these days of texting, spell-check and half sentences. Some middle and high school students cannot read cursive because they were not taught to write it. They are unable to read letters from grandparents or historical documents. I have family recipes passed down from my great grandmother, all of them written in the most beautiful cursive writing.
Why would we not teach the artistry of real penmanship?
I have taught cursive writing with free downloadable worksheets from the internet. My boys use their cursive skills daily to journal anything from a cool bug to their latest homeschool field trip. It takes us no more than 15 to 20 minutes four times a week and in a few months we have cursive writers.
While cursive writing is not a necessity, it is beneficial; it is personal and helpful when sending a handwritten note or letter. I'm all for technology and modern conveniences, but must they take the place of this traditional art of writing?
Do you teach cursive writing in your homeschool? Should we still teach cursive or should we concentrate on teaching other skills or subjects?
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