Cursive Is Good For You
Cursive writing has been in decline since the 1930’s-40’s. Colleges in the U.S. chose to no longer include classes on proper cursive instruction as part of their core curriculum. This caused a decrease of the value of cursive writing in education. Around this same time the use of new technologies posed a threat to the need for cursive writing. The typewriter/keyboard is the technology that most people hold accountable. But it was not the first one to drastically change things for the handwriting world.
The first perpetrator of cursive decline was…the ball point pen! It’s quick dry ink, non-smudge design, and cheap price changed the way people chose to write. They no longer had to worry about smudging the ink with their hand or breaking the tip from pressing too hard. Writing in cursive was no longer necessary. Because of the ball point pen cursive simply became a fancy alternative to print.
Today, in the age of computers, keyboards, and tablets, people are asking the questions…
“Is cursive even worth learning anymore?
“Aren’t we just going to end up typing it anyway?”
I am going to add my voice to the other many educated voices out there and say YES!!! Learning to write in cursive is worth it. Here are 5 reasons why…
1 Cursive Writing Expands Your Brain Capacity
Research has been done on the connection between handwriting and brain development. Different parts of your brain are activated when you write in cursive than when you write in print. Your brain benefits in similar ways when you learn to write in cursive as when you learn to play a musical instrument. (Next time you are considering which instrument you would like your child to play include “pencil” on the list!) Handwriting helps to keep your brain active. It is an important skill to use to prevent cognitive decline, especially in old age. The areas of the brain that are active during reading are also active when you write. These same areas are not active while typing.
2 Cursive Writing Connects Us With The Past
All important historical documents are written in cursive. The Declaration of Independence, The Gettysburg Address, etc.. Genealogical records are in cursive. Our great-grandparents journals and letters are in cursive. So much of our past that can greatly affect our future has been written in cursive.
If you cannot write in cursive it is very unlikely that you will be able to read it. Cut out the need for a translator in order to learn about history. Learn to read and write in cursive!
3 Cursive Writing Enhances Learning
Writing is a tactile way to learn. The action of writing requires you to process information, reflect on it, and then manipulate it in a personal way. This leads to deeper understanding and creation of memory. Research has shown that students who write what they are hearing understand more than students who type what they are hearing.
When you learn to write it increases your reading speed and helps you generate ideas and retain information. When you write free hand it engages your brain in ways that simple tracing and reading do not. Cursive writing takes these benefits to an even greater level. People who write in cursive are commonly better at spelling and grammar. In short, research has shown that writing helps you think better.
4 Cursive Writing Develops Fine Motor Skills
Printing and typing are actions that only require activity from the right side of your brain. Cursive stimulates a connection between both sides of your brain. It requires coordination. You use your hand muscles in a different way when you write in cursive than when you write in print. Cursive writing requires fine motor control of your fingers.
5 Cursive Writing is Refined
Cursive is a form of art. As stated above it stimulates a part of the left (artistic) side of your brain that isn’t stimulated by printing or typing. Cursive inspires individuality and creativity. It requires self-control and is an avenue for self-expression. Cursive writing takes practice and focus. It can even help children with behavioral and or sensory processing disorders.
National Handwriting Day is January 23rd. Cursive isn’t dead yet! Find a way to incorporate it in your daily life. Teach it to your children. If we choose to use cursive today, and pass it on to the next generation, we can revive it’s use in our society and benefit from it for years to come.
Here are some resources for getting started…
- Click here for free printable cursive worksheets from Handwriting For Kids. (this is my #1 go to site for free printable worksheets for manuscript)
- If you use Workbooks I suggest Brain Quest for 2nd Grade, they include a Cursive Writing section which is a great introduction for beginners.
- If you are looking for novelty I suggest Mead’s dry erase cursive products. They are great when your kids need something more engaging than pencil and paper.